■••''■'- i . : - '-*"■''■":'" i' '
'-"'■'•■ ? ■«• v ^ ■ i :•■->■•■ •
S. 6. & E. L. ELBERT
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN;
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY.
HARRIET BEECHES STOWE.
ONE HUNDREDTH THOUSAND.
JOHN P. JEWETT & COMPANY
JEWETT, PROCTOR & WORTHINGTON.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1861, by
HARRIET BEECHER STOWE,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Maine.
STE 11 EO TYPED BY
HOBART & ROBBINS,
NEW ENGLAND TYPE .AND STEREOTYPE POUNDRRY,
Printed by Geo. C. Rand & Co., No. 3 Cornhill.
The scenes of this story, as its title indicates, lie
among a race hitherto ignored by the associations of
polite and refined society ; an exotic race, whose
ancestors, born beneath a tropic sun, brought
with them, and perpetuated to their descendants, a
character so essentially unlike the hard and domi-
nant Anglo-Saxon race, as for many years to have
won from it only misunderstanding and contempt.
But, another and better day is dawning ; every
influence of literature, of poetry and of art, in our
times, is becoming more and more in unison with
the great master chord of Christianity, "good will
The poet, the painter, and the artist, now seek
out and embellish the common and gentler humani-
ties of life, and, under the allurements of fiction,
breathe a humanizing and subduing influence, favor
able to the development of the great principles of
The hand of benevolence is everywhere stretched
out, searching into abuses, righting wrongs, alleviat-
ing distresses, and bringing to the knowledge and
sympathies of the world the lowly, the oppressed,
and the forgotten.
In this general movement, unhappy Africa at last
is remembered ; Africa, who began the race of
civilization and human progress in the dim, gray
dawn of early time, but who, for centuries, has lain
bound and bleeding at the foot of civilized and Chris-
tianized humanity, imploring compassion in vain.
But the heart of the dominant race, who have been
her conquerors, her hard masters, has at length been
turned towards her in mercy ; and it has been seen
how far nobler it is in nations to protect the feeble
than to oppress them. Thanks be to God, the world
has at last outlived the slave-trade !
The object of these sketches is to awaken sym-
pathy and feeling for the African race, as they exist
among us ; to show their wrongs and sorrows, under
a system so necessarily cruel and unjust as to
defeat and do away the good effects of all that
can be attempted for them, by their best friends,
In doing this, the author can sincerely disclaim
any invidious feeling towards those individuals who,
often without any fault of their own, are involved in
the trials and embarrassments of the legal relations
Experience has shown her that some of the
noblest of minds and hearts are often thus involved ;
and no one knows better than they do, that what
may be gathered of the evils of slavery from
sketches like these, is not the half that could be
told, of the unspeakable whole.
In the northern states, these representations may,
perhaps, be thought caricatures ; in the southern
states are witnesses who know their fidelity. What
personal knowledge the author has had, of the truth
of incidents such as here are related, will appear in
It is a comfort to hope, as so many of the world's
sorrows and wrongs have, from age to age, been lived
down, so a time shall come when sketches similar^
to these shall be valuable only as memorials of what
has long ceased to be.
When an enlightened and Christianized commu-
nity shall have, on the shores of Africa, laws,
language and literature, drawn from among us,
may then the scenes of the house of bondage be to
them like the remembrance of Egypt to the
Israelite, — a motive of thankfulness to Him who
hath redeemed them !
For, while politicians contend, and men are
swerved this way and that by conflicting tides of
interest and passion, the great cause of human
liberty is in the hands of one, of whom it is said :
" He shall not fail nor be discouraged
Till He have set judgment in the earth."
" He shall deliver the needy when he crieth,
The poor, and him that hath no helper."
" He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence,
And precious shall their blood be in His sight."
TABLE OF CONTENTS,
In which the Reader is introduced to a Man of Humanity, . 13
The Mother, 27
The Husband and Father, ,31
An Evening in Uncle Tom's Cabin, 38
Showing the Feelings of Living Property on changing Owners, 54
The Mother's Struggle, 79
Eliza's Escape, 97
CHAPTER IX. ^k
In which it appears "that a Senator is but a Man, . . 118
X CONTENTS. -
The Property is carried off, 140
In which Property gets into an Improper State of Mind, 154
Select Incident of Lawful Trade, 172
. The Quaker Settlement, • . 195
Of Tom's new Master, and Various other Matters, . 221
Tom's Mistress and her Opinions, 243
The Freeman's Defence, 268
Miss Ophelia's Experiences and Opinions, ... 291
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN:
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY.
IN WniCII THE READER IS INTRODUCED TO A MAN OF HUMANITY.
Late in the afternoon of a chilly day in February, two
gentlemen were sitting alone over their wine, in a well-
furnished dining parlor, in the town of P , in Kentucky.
There were no servants present, and the gentlemen, with
chairs closely approaching, seemed to be discussing some
subject with great earnestness.
For convenience sake, we have said, hitherto, two gentle-
men. One of the parties, however, when critically examined,
did not seem, strictly speaking, to come under the species.
He was a short, thick-set man, with coarse, commonplace
features, and that swaggering air of pretension which marks a
low man who is trying to elbow his way upward in the world
He was much over-dressed, in a gaudy vest of many colors, a
blue neckerchief, bcdroppcd gayly with yellow spots, and
arranged with a flaunting tie, quite iu keeping with the gen-
eral air of the man. His hands, large and coarse, were plen-
tifully bedecked with rings ; and he wore a heavy gold watcl^^
chain, with a bundle of seals of portentous size, and a grea^i
14 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
variety of colors, attached to it, — which, in the ardor of con-
versation, he was in the habit bf flourishing and jingling with
evident satisfaction. His conversation was in free and easy
defiance of Murray's Grammar, and was garnished at conve-
nient intervals with various profane expressions, which not
even the desire to be graphic in our account shall induce us
His companion, Mr. Shelby, had the appearance of a gen-
tleman ; and the arrangements of the house, and the general
air of the housekeeping, indicated easy, and even opulent cir-
cumstances. As we before stated, the two were in the midst
of an earnest conversation.
" That is the way I should arrange the matter," said Mr.
"I can't make trade that way — I positively can't, Mr.
Shelby," said the other, holding up a glass of wine between
his eye arfcl the light.
"Why, the fact is, Haley, Tom is an uncommon fellow;
he is certainly worth that sum anywhere, — steady, honest,
capable, manages my whole farm like a clock."
" You mean honest, as niggers go," said Haley, helping
himself to a glass of brandy.
"No; I mean, really, Tom is a good, steady, sensible,
pious fellow. He got reLgion at a camp-meeting, four years
ago ; and I believe he really did get it. I 've trusted him,
since then, with every tiling I have, — money, house, horses,-—
and let him come ad go round the country ; and I always
found him true an 1 square in everything."
"Some folks djn't believe there is pious niggers, Shelby,"
said Haley, with a candid flourish of his hand, " but / do. I
ad a fellow, now, in this yer last lot I took to Orleans —
was as good as a mectin, now, really, to hear that critter
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 15
pray ; and he was quite gentle and quiet like. He fetched me
a good sum, too, for I bought him cheap of a man that was
'bliged to sell out; so I realized six hundred on him. Yes,
I consider religion a valeyable thing in a nigger, when it's
the genuine article, and no mistake."
"Well, Tom's got the real article, if ever a fellow had,"
rejoined the other. " Why, last fall, I let him go to Cincin-
nati alone, to do business for me, and bring home five hun-
dred dollars. ' Tom,' says I to him, ' I trust you, because I
think you 're a Christian — I know you would n't cheat.' Tom
comes back, sure enough ; I knew he would. Some low fel-
lows, they say, said to him — 'Tom, why don't you make
tracks for Canada ? ' c Ah, master trusted me, and I could n't,'
— they told .me about it. I am sorry to part with Tom, I
must say. You "ought to let him cover the whole balance of
the debt ; and you would, Haley, if you had any conscience."
" Well, I 've got just as much conscience as any man in
business can afford to keep, — just a little, you know, to swear
by, as 'twere," said the trader, jocularly; "and, then, I'm
ready to do anything in reason to 'blige friends ; but this yer,
you see, is a leetle too hard on a fellow — a leetle too hard."
The trader sighed contemplatively, and poured out some more
"Well, then, Haley, how will you trade?" said Mr.
Shelby, after an uneasy interval of silence.
" Well, have n't you a boy or gal that you could throw in
" Hum ! — none that I could well spare ; to tell the truth,
it 's only hard necessity makes me willing to sell at aJ. I
don't like parting with any of my hands, that 's a fact."
Here the door opened, and a small quadroon boy, betwej
four and five years of age, entered the room. There w
16 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
something in his appearance remarkably beautiful and engag-
ing. His black hair, fine as floss silk, hung in glossy curls
about his round, dimpled face, while a pair of large dark
eyes, full of fire and softness, looked out from beneath the
rich, long lashes, as he peered curiously into the apartment.
A gay robe of scarlet and yellow plaid, carefully made and
neatly fitted, set off to advantage the dark and rich style of
his beauty ; and a certain comic air of assurance, blended with
bashfulness, showed that he had been not unused to being
petted and noticed by his master.
"Hulloa, Jim Crow!" said Mr. Shelby, whistling, and
snapping a bunch of raisins towards him, "pick that up,
now ! "
The child scampered, with all his little strength, after the
prize, while his master laughed.
"Come here, Jim Crow," said he. The child came up,
and the master patted the curly head, and chucked him under*
" Now, Jim, show this gentleman how you can dance and
sing." The boy commenced one of those wild, grotesque
songs common among the negroes, in a rich, clear voice,
accompanying his singing with many comic evolutions of the
hands, feet, and whole body, all in perfect time to the music.
"Bravo!" said Haley, throwing him a quarter of an
" Now, Jim, walk like old Uncle Cudjoe, when he has the
rheumatism," said his master.
Instantly the flexible limbs of the child assumed the ap-
pearance of deformity and distortion, as, with his back humped
up, and his master's stick in his hand, he hobbled about the
:oom^ his childish face drawn into a doleful pucker, and spit-
Ding from right to left, in imitation of an old man.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 17
Both gentlemen laughed uproariously.
"Now, Jim," said his master, "shoy/ us how old Elder
Robbins leads the psalm." The boy drew his chubby face
down to a formidable length, and commenced toning a psalm
tune through his nose, with imperturbable gravity.
"Hurrah 1 bravo! what a young 'un ! " said Haley;
"that chap's a case, I'll promise. Tell you what," said
he, suddenly clapping his hand on Mr. Shelby's shoulder,
"fling in that chap, and I'll settle the business — I will.
Come, now, if that ain't doing the thing up about the
rightest ! "
At this moment, the door was pushed gently open, and a
young quadroon woman, apparently aboutttwenty-five, entered
There needed only a glance from the child to her, to iden-
tify her as its mother. There was the same rich, full, dark
eye, with its long lashes ; the same ripples of silky black hair.
The brown of her complexion gave way on the cheek to a per-
ceptible flush, which deepened as she saw the gaze of the
strange man fixed upon her in bold and undisguised admira-
tion. Her dress was of the neatest possible fit, and set off to
advantage her finely moulded shape ; — a delicately formed
hand and a trim foot and ankle were items of appearance that
did not escape the quick eye of the trader, well used to run
up at a glance the points of a fine female article.
"Well, Eliza?" said her master, as she stopped and looked
hesitatingly at him.
"I was looking for Harry, please, sir;" and the boy
bounded toward her, showing his spoils, which he had gath-
ered in the skirt of his robe.
" Well, take him away, then," said Mr. Shelby : and
hastily she withdrew, carrying the child on her arm.
18 UNCLE tom's cabin: or,
"By Jupiter," said the trader, turning to him in admira-
tion, " there 's an article, now ! You might make your for-
tune on that ar gal in Orleans, any day. I 've seen over a
thousand, in my day, paid down for gals not a bit handsomer."
"I don't want to make my fortune on her," said Mr.
Shelby, dryly; and, seeking to turn the conversation, he
uncorked a bottle of fresh wine, and asked his companion's
opinion of it.
" Capital, sir, — first chop ! " said the trader ; then turning,
and slapping his hand familiarly on Shelby's shoulder, he
" Come, how will you trade about the gal 1 — what shall I
say for her — what* 11 you take ? "
"Mr. Haley, she is not to be sold," said Shelby. "My
wife would not part with her for her weight in gold."
"Ay, ay! women always say such things, cause they
ha'nt no sort of calculation. Just show 'em how many
watches, feathers, and trinkets, one's weight in gold would
buy, and that alters the case, /reckon."
" I tell you, Haley, this must not be spoken of; I say no,
and I mean no," said Shelby, decidedly.
"Well, you'll let me have the boy, though," said the
trader ; " you must own I 've come down pretty handsomely
"What on earth can you want with the child?" said
" Why, I 've got a friend that 's going into this yer branch
of the business — wants to buy up handsome boys to raise for
the market. Fancy articles entirely — sell for waiters, and
so on, to rich 'uns, that can pay for handsome 'uns. It sets
off one of yer great places — a real handsome boy to opery
* *door. wait, and tend. They fetch a good sum ; and this lit-
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 19
tie devil is such a comical, musical concern, he 's just the
"I would rather not sell him," said Mr. Shelby, thought-
fully; "the fact is, sir, I'm a humane man, and I hate to
take the boy from his mother, sir."
"0, you do?— r La ! yes — something of that ar natur. I
understand, perfectly. It is mighty onpleasant getting on
with women, sometimes. I al'ays hates these yer screachin',
screamin' times. They are mighty onpleasant ; but, as I
manages business, I generally avoids 'em, sir. Now, what
if you get the girl off for a day, or a week, or so ; then the
thing 's done quietly, — all over before she comes home. Your
wife might get her some ear-rings, or a new gown, or some
such truck, to make up with her."
"I'm afraid not."
" Lor bless ye, yes ! These critters an't like white folks,
you know ; they gets over things, only manage right. Now,
they say," said Haley, assuming a candid and confidential
air, " that this kind o' trade is hardening to the feelings ; but
I never found it so. Fact is, I never could do things up the
way some fellers manage the business. I 've seen 'em as
would pull a woman's child out of her arms, and set him up
to sell, and she screechin' like mad all the time ; — very bad
policy — damages the article — makes 'em quite unfit for ser-
vice sometimes. I knew a real handsome gal once, in Orleans,
as was entirely ruined by this sort o' handling. The fellow
that was trading for her did n't want her baby ; and she was
one of your real high sort, when her blood was up. I tell
you, she squeezed up her child in her arms, and talked, and
went on real awful. It kinder makes my blood run cold to
think on't ; and when they carried off the child, and locked
her up, she jest went ravin' mad, and died in a week. Cleai
20 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OK,
waste ; sir, of a thousand dollars, just for want of management,
— there's where 'tis. It's ahvays best to do the humane
thing, sir; that's been my experience." And the trader
leaned back in his chair, and folded his arm, with an air of
virtuous decision, apparently considering himpelf a second
The subject appeared to interest the gentleman deeply ; for
while Mr. Shelby was thoughtfully peeling an orange, Haley
broke out afresh, with becoming diffidence, but as if actually
driven by the force of truth to say a few words more.
" It don't look well, now, for a feller to be praisin' him-
self; but I say it jest because it 's the truth. I believe I 'm
reckoned to bring in about the finest droves of niggers that is
brought in, — at least, I 've been told so ; if I have once, I
reckon I have a hundred times, — all in good case, — fat and
likely, and I lose as few as any man in the business. And I
lays it all to my management, sir ; and humanity, sir, I may
say, is the great pillar of my management."
Mr. Shelby did not know what to say, and so he said,
" Now, I 've been laughed at for my notions, sir, and I 've
been talked to. They an't pop'lar, and they an't common ;
but I stuck to 'em, sir ; I 've stuck to 'em, and realized well on
'em ; yes, sir, they have paid their passage, I may say," and
the trader laughed at his joke.
There was something so piquant and original in these elu-
cidations of humanity, that Mr. Shelby could not help laugh-
ing in company. Perhaps you laugh too, dear reader ; but
you know humanity comes out in a variety of strange forms
now-a-days, and there is no end to the odd things that humane
people will say and do.
Mr. Shelby's laugh encouraged the trader to proceed.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY.
"It 's strange now, but I never could beat this into peo-
ple's heads. Now, there was Tom Loker, my old partner,
down in Natchez ; he was a clever fellow, Tom was, only the
very devil with niggers, — on principle 't was, you see, for a
better hearted feller never broke bread ; 't was his system,
sir. I used to talk to Tom. ' Why, Tom,' I used to say, ' when
your gals takes on and cry, what 's the use o' crackin on 'em
over the head, and knockin' on 'em round? It 's ridiculous,'
says I, ' and don't do no sort o' good. Why, I don't see no
harm in their cry in',' says I; 'it 's natur,' says I, 'and if natur
can't blow off one way, it will another. Besides, Tom,' says
I, 'it jest spiles your gals ; they get sickly, and down in the
mouth; and sometimes they gets ugly, — particular yallow
gals do, — and it 's the devil and all gettm' on 'em broke in.
Now,' says I, 'why can't you kinder coax 'em up, and speak
'em fair? Depend on it, Tom, a little humanity, thrown in
along, goes a heap further than all your jawin' and crackin' ;
and it pays better,' says I, ' depend on 't.' But Tom could n't
get the hang on 't; and he spiled so many for me, that I had
to break off with him, though he was a good-hearted fellow,
and as fair a business hand as is g )in\"
■ " And do you find your ways o;' managing do the business
fetter than Tom's ? " said Mr. Shelby.
' Why, yes, sir, I may say so. You see, when I any
ways can, I takes a leetle care about the onpleasant parts
like selling young uns and that, — get the gals out of the waj
— out of sight, out of mind, you know, — and when it 's clean
done, and can't be helped, they naturally gets used to it.
'Tan't, you know, as if it was white folks, that 's brought up
in the way of 'spectin' to keep their children and wives, and
all that. Niggers, you know, that's fetched up properly.
22 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
ha'n'J; no kind of 'spectations of no kind ; so all these things
"I'm afraid mine are not properly brought up, then," said
" S'pose not ; you Kentucky folks spile your niggers.
You mean well by 'em, but 'tan't no real kindness, arter all
Now, a nigger, you see, what's got. to be hacked and tumbled
round the world, and sold to Tom, and Dick, and the Lord
knows who, 'tan't no kindness to be givin' on him notions
and expectations, and bringin' on him up too well, for the
rough and tumble comes all the harder on him arter. Now,
I venture to say, your niggers would be quite chop-fallen in a
place where some of your plantation niggers would be singing
and whooping like all possessed. Every man, you know, Mr.
Shelby, naturally thinks well of his own ways ; and I think I
treat niggers just about as well as it 's ever worth while to
" It 's a happy thing to be satisfied," said Mr. Shelby, with
a slight shrug, and some perceptible feelings of a disagreeable
"Well," said Haley, after they had both silently picked
their nuts for a season, " what do you say?"
"I'll think the matter over, and talk with my wife," said
Mr. Shelby. "Meantime, Haley, if you want the matter
carried on in the quiet way you speak of, you 'd best not let
your business in this neighborhood be known. It will get out
among my boys, and it will not be a particularly quiet busi-
ness getting away any of my fellows, if they know it, I '11
" ! certainly, by all means, mum ! of course. But
I '11 tell you, I 'm in a devil of a hurry, and shall want to
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 23
(mow, as soon as possible, what I may depend on," said he,
rising and putting on his overcoat.
" Well, call up this evening, between six and seven, and
you shall have my answer," said Mr. Shelby, and the trader
bowed himself out of the apartment.
" I'd like to have been able to kick the fellow down the
steps," said he to himself, as he saw the door fairly closed,
" with his impudent assurance ; but he knows how much he
has me at advantage. If anybody had ever said to me that I
should sell Tom down south to one of those rascally traders,
I should have said, ' Is thy servant a dog, that he should do
this thing ? ' And now it must come, for aught I see. And
Eliza's child, too ! I know that I shall have some fuss with
wife about that ; and, f<5r that matter, about Tom, too. So
much for being in debt, — heigho ! The fellow sees his advan-
tage, and means to push it."
Perhaps the mildest form of the system of slavery is to be
seen in the State of Kentucky. The general prevalence of
agricultural pursuits of a quiet and gradual nature, not
requiring those periodic seasons of hurry and pressure that
are called for in the business of more southern districts,
makes the task of the negro a more healthful and reasonable
one ; while the master, content with a more gradual style of
acquisition, has not those temptations to Jiajdheartedness
which always overcome frail human nature when the prospect
of sudden and rapid gain is weighed in the balance, with no
heavier counterpoise than the interests of the helpless and
Whoever visits some estates there, and witnesses the good-
humored indulgence of some masters and mistresses, and the
affectionate loyalty of some slaves, might be tempted to dream
the oft-fabled poetic legend of a patriarchal institution, and all
24 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
that ; but over and above the scene there broods a portentous
shadow — the shadow of law. So long as the law considers
all these human beings, with beating hearts and living affec-
tions, only as so many things belonging to a master, — so
long as the failure, or misfortune, or imprudence, or death of
the kindest owner, may cause them any day to exchange a
life of kind protection and indulgence for one of hopeless
misery and toil, — so long it is impossible to make anything
beautiful or desirable in the best regulated administration of
Mr. Shelby was a fair average kind of man, good-natured
and kindly, and disposed to easy indulgence of those around
him, and there had never been a lack of anything which might
contribute to the physical comfort of the negroes on his estate.
He had, however, speculated largely and quite loosely ; had
involved himself deeply, and his notes to a large amount had
come into the hands of Haley ; and this small piece of inform-
ation is the key to the preceding conversation.
Now, it had so happened that, in approaching the door,
Eliza had caught enough of the conversation to know that a
trader was making offers to her master for somebody.
She would gladly have stopped at the door to listen, as she
came out ; but her mistress just then calling, she was obliged
to hasten away.
Still she thought she heard the trader make an offer for
her boy ; — could she be mistaken ? Her heart swelled and
throbbed, and she involuntarily strained him so tight that the
little felTow looked up into her face in astonishment.
"Eliza, girl, what ails you to-day?" said her mistress,
when Eliza had upset the wash-pitcher, knocked down the
work-stand, and finally was abstractedly offering her mistress
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 25
a long night-gown in place of the silk dress she had ordered
her to bring from the wardrobe.
Eliza started. " 0, missis!" she said, raising her eyes;
then, bursting into tears, she sat down in a chair, and began
" Why, Eliza, child ! what ails you 1 " said her mistress.
" ! missis, missis," said Eliza, " there 's been a trader
talking with master in the parlor ! I heard him."
" Well, silly child, suppose there has."
" 0, missis, do you suppose mas'r would sell my Harry? "
And the poor creature threw herself into a chair, and sobbed
" Sell him ! No, you foolish girl ! You know your mas-
ter never deals with those southern traders, and never means
to sell any of his servants, as long as they behave well. Why,
you silly child, who do you think would want to buy your
Harry ? Do you think all the world are set on him as you
are, you goosie? Come, cheer up, and hook my dress.
There now, put my back hair up in that pretty braid you
learnt the other day, and don't go listening at doors any
"Well, but, missis, you never would give your consent —
to — to — "
" Nonsense, child ! to be sure, I should n't. What do you
talk so for ? I would as soon have one of my own children
sold. But really, Eliza, you are getting altogether too pioud
of that little fellow. A man can't put his nose into the door,
but you think he must be coming to buy him."
Reassured by her mistress' confident tone, Eliza pro-
ceeded nimbly and adroitly with her toilet, laughing at her
own fears, as she proceeded.
Mrs. Shelby was a woman of a high class, both intellect-
26 UK CLE tom's cabin : OR,
ually and morally. To that natural magnanimity and gene •
rosity of mind which one often marks as characteristic of the
women of Kentucky, she added high moral and religious sens-
ibility and principle, carried out with great energy and ability
into practical results. Her husband, who made no professions
to any particular religious character, nevertheless reverenced
and respected the consistency of hers, and stood, perhaps, a
little in awe of her opinion. Certain it was that he gave her
unlimited scope in all her benevolent efforts for the comfort,
instruction, and improvement of her servants, though he never
took any decided part in them himself. In fact, if not exactly
a believer in the doctrine of the efficiency of the extra good
works of saints, he really seemed somehow or other to fancy
that his wife had piety and benevolence enough for two — to
indulge a shadowy expectation of getting into heaven through
her superabundance of qualities to which he made no particu-
The heaviest load on his mind, after his conversation with
th.e trader, lay in the foreseen necessity of breaking to his
wife the arrangement contemplated, — meeting the importuni-
ties and opposition which ie knew he should have reason to
Mrs. Shelby, being entirely ignorant of her husband's
embarrassments, and knowing only the general kindliness of
his temper, had been quite sincere in the entire incredulity
with which she had met Eliza's suspicions. In fact, she dis-
missed the matter from her mind, without a second thought ;
and being occupied in preparations for an evening visit, it
passed out of her thoughts entirely.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 27
Eliza had been brought up by her mistress, from girlhood,
as a petted and indulged favorite.
The traveller in the south must often have remarked that
peculiar air of refinement, that softness of voice and manner,
which seems in many cases to be a particular gift to the quad-
roon and mulatto women. These natural graces in the quad-
roon are often united with beauty of the most dazzling kind,
and in almost every case with a personal, appearance prepos-
sessing and agreeable. Eliza, such as we have described her,
is not a fancy sketch, but taken from remembrance, as we
savr her, years ago, in Kentucky. Safe under the protecting
care of her mistress, Eliza had reached maturity^thout those
temptations which make beauty so fatal an inheritance to a
slave. She had been married to a bright and talented young
mulatto man, who was a slave on a neighboring estate, and
bore the name of George Harris.
This young man had been hired out by his master to work
in a bagging factory, where his adroitness and ingenuity caused
him to be considered the first hand in the place. He had
invented a machine for the cleaning of the hemp, whiqji, con-
sidering the education and circumstances of the inventor, dis-
played quite as much mechanical genius as Whitney's cotton-
* A machine of this description was really the invention of a young
colored man in Kentucky.
28 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OE,
He was possessed of a handsome person and pleasing man-
ners, and was a general favorite in the factory. Nevertheless,
as this young man was in the eye of the law not a man, but a
thing, all these superior qualifications were subject to the
control of a vulgar, narrow-minded, tyrannical master. This
same gentleman, having heard of the fame of George's inven-
tion, took a ride over to the factory, to see what this intelli-
gent chattel had been about. He was received with great
enthusiasm by the employer, who congratulated him on pos-
sessing so valuable a slave.
He was waited upon over the factory, shown the machinery
by George, who, in high spirits, talked so fluently, held him-
self so erect, looked so handsome and manly, that his master
began to feel an uneasy consciousness of inferiority. What
business had his slave to be marching round the country,
inventing machines, and holding up his head among gentle-
men ? He 'd soon put a stop to it. He 'd take him back, and
put him to hoeing and digging, and " see if he'd step about
so. smart. 55 * Accordingly, the manufacturer and all hands
concerned were astounded when he suddenly demanded
George's wages, and announced his intention of taking him
" But, Mr. Harris, 55 remonstrated the manufacturer,
" is n't this rather sudden ? 55
" "What if it is 1 — is n't the man mine ? "
" We would be willing, sir, to increase the rate of compen-
" No object at all, sir. I don 5 t need to hire any of my
hands out, unless I've a mind to. 55
"But, sir, he seems peculiarly adapted to this business. 55
"Dare say he may be; never was much adapted to any-
thing that I set him about, I 5 11 be bound. 55
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 29
" But only think of Lis inventing this machine," interposed
one of the workmen, rather unluckily.
"0 yes! — a machine for saving work, is it? He'd
invent that, I '11 be bound ; let a nigger alone for that, any
time. They are all labor-saving machines themselves, every
one of 'em. No, he shall tramp ! "
George had stood like one transfixed, at hearing his dooir
thus suddenly pronounced by a power that he knew was irre-
sistible. He folded His arms, tightly pressed in his lips, bun
a whole volcano of bitter feelings burned in his bosom, and
sent streams of fire through his veins. He breathed short,
and his large dark eyes flashed like live coals ; and he might
have broken out into some dangerous ebullition, had not the
kindly manufacturer touched him on the arm, and said, in a
" Give way, George ; go with him for the present. We 'U
try to help you, yet."
The tyrant observed the whisper, and conjectured its import
though he could not hear what was said ; and he inwai dly
strengthened himself in his determination to keep the power
he possessed over his victim.
George was taken home, and put to the meanest drudgery
of the farm. He had been able to repress every disrespectful
word ; but the flashing eye, the gloomy and troubled brow,
were part of a natural language that could not be repressed, —
indubitable signs, which showed too plainly that the man could
not become a thing.
It was during the happy period of his employment in the
factory that George had seen and married his wife. During
that period, — being much trusted and favored by his employer,
— he had free liberty to come and go at discretion. The mar-
iage was highly approved of by Mrs. Shelby, who, with a
80 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
little womanly complacency in match-making, felt pleased to
unite her handsome favorite with one of her own class who
seemed in every way suited to her ; and so they were mar-
ried in her mistress' great parlor, and her mistress herself
adorned the bride's beautiful hair with orange-blossoms, and
threw over it the bridal veil, which certainly could scarce have
rested on a fairer head ; and there was no lack of white
gloves, and cake and wine, — • of admiring guests to praise the
bride's beauty, and her mistress' indulgence and liberality.
For a year or two Eliza -saw her husband frequently, and
there was nothing to interrupt their happiness, except the loss
of two infant children, to whom she was passionately attached,
and whom she mourned with a grief so intense as to call for
gentle remonstrance from her mistress, who sought, with
maternal anxiety, to direct her naturally passionate feelings
within the bounds of reason and religion.
After the birth of little Harry, however, she had gradually
become tranquillized and settled ; and every bleeding tie and
throbbing nerve, once more entwined with that little life,
seemed to become sound and healthful, and Eliza was a happy
woman up to the time that her husband was rudely torn from
his kind employer, and brought under the iron sway of his
The manufacturer, true to his word, visited Mr. Harris a
week or two after George had been taken away, when, as he
hoped, the heat of the occasion had passed away, and tried
every possible inducement to lead him to restore him to his
" You needn't trouble yourself to talk any longer," said
he, doggedly ; "I know my own business, sir."
" I did not presume to interfere with it, sir. I only
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 31
thought that you might think it for your interest to let your
man to us on the terms proposed."
'0,1 understand the matter well enough. I saw your
winking and whispering, the day I took him out of the fac-
tory ; but you don't come it over me that way. It 's a free
country, sir ; the man 's mine, and I do what I please with
him,— that's it!"
And so fell George's last hope ; — nothing before him but a
life of toil and drudgery, rendered more bitter by every little
smarting vexation and indignity which tyrannical ingenuity
A very humane jurist once said, The worst use you can
put a man to is to hang him. No ; there is another use that
a man can be out to that is worse !
THE nUSBAND AND FATHER.
Mrs. Shelby had gone on her visit, and Eliza stood in the
verandah, rather dejectedly looking after the retreating car-
riage, when a hand was laid on her shoulder. She turned,
and a bright smile lighted up her fine eyes.
il George, is it you? How you frightened me! Well; I
Dm so glad you 's come ! Missis is gone to spend the after-
noon ; so come into my little room, and we '11 have the time
all to ourselves."
Saying this, she drew him into a neat little apartment
opening on the verandah, where she generally sat at her
sewing, within call of her mistress.
82 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
" How glad I am ! — why don't you smile ? — and look at
Harry — how he grows." The boy stood shyly regarding
his father through his curls, holding close to the skirts of his
mother's dress. "Isn't he beautiful?" said Eliza, lifting
his long curls and kissing him.
"I wish he'd never been born! " said George, bitterly.
1 f I wish I 'd never been born myself ! "
Surprised and frightened, Eliza sat down, leaned her head
on her husband's shoulder, and burst into tears.
"There now, Eliza, it's too bad for me to make you feel
so, poor girl! " said he, fondly; "it's too bad. 0, how I
wish you never had seen me — you might have been happy ! "
" George ! George ! how can you talk so ? What dreadful
thing has happened, or is going to happen? I 'm sure we 've
been very happy, till lately."
" So we have, dear," said George. Then drawing his child
on his knee, he gazed intently on his glorious dark eyes, and
passed his hands through his long curls.
" Just like you, Eliza ; and you are the handsomest woman
I ever saw, and the best one I ever wish to see ; but, oh, I
wish I 'd never seen you, nor you me!"
"0, George, how can you ! "
"Yes, Eliza, it's all misery, misery, misery! My life is
bitter as wormwood ; the very life is burning out of me. I 'm
a poor, miserable, forlorn drudge; I shall only drag you
down with me, that's all. What's the use cf our trying to
do anything, trying to know anything, trying to be anything ?
What 's the use of living ? I wish I was dead ! "
"0, now, dear George, that is really wicked ! I know
how ycu feel about losing your place in the factory, and you
havcfc hard master ; but pray be patient, and perhaps some-
thing — "
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 33
" Patient !" said he, interrupting her ; "haven't I been
patient ? Did I say a word when he came and took me away,
for no earthly reason, from the place where everybody was
kind to me 1 I 'd paid him truly every cent of mj earnings,
— and they all say I worked well."
"Well, it is dreadful," said Eliza; "but, after all, he is
your master, you know."
• j My master ! and who made him my master 1 That 's
what I think of — what right has he to me ? I'ma man as
much as he is. I 'm a better man than he is. I know more
about business than he does ; I am a better manager than
he is ; I can reao* better than he can ; I can write a better
hand, — and I 've learned it all myself, and no thanks to hjA,
— I 've learned it in spite of him ; .and now what right has
he to make a dray-horse of me ? — to take me from things I
can do, and do better than he can, and put me to work that
any horse can 'do? He tries to do it; he says he'll bring
Ke down and humble me, and he puts me to just the hardest,
eanest and dirtiest work, on purpose ! " fe
" 0, G ifif-eorge ! you frighten me! Why, I never
heard you t ^Ho; I J m afraid you '11 do something dreadful.
I don't wonder at your feelings, at all; but oh, do be careful
— - do, do — for my sake — for Harry's ! "
"I have been careful, and I have been patient, but it's
growing worse and worse ; flesh and blood can't bear it any
longer ; — every chance he can get to insult and torment me,
he takes. I thought I could do my work well, and keep on
quiet, and : <ive some time to read and learn out of work
hours ; hut the more he sees I can do, the more he loads on.
He says that though I don't say anything, he sees I 've got
the devil in me, and he means to bring it out ; and ore of
34 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
these days it will come out in a way that he won't like, or
I'm mistaken ! "
" dear ! what shall we do? " said Eliza, mournfully.
"It wa3 only yesterday," said George, "as I was busy
loading stones into a cart, that young Mas'r Tom stood there,
slashing his whip so near the horse that the creature was ,
frightened. I asked Mm to stop, as pleasant as I could, — he*,
just kept right on. I begged him again, and then he turned'.'.
on me, and began striking me. I held his hand, and then he
screamed and kicked and ran to his father, and told him that
I was fighting him.- He came in a rage, and said he 'd teach
me who was my master ; and he tied me to a tree, and cut-jjf
itches for young master, and told him that he might whip
me till he was tired ; —and he did do it ! If I don't make
him remember it, some time ! " and the brow of the youngV'
man grew dark, and his eyes burned with an expression th'&V.
made his young wife tremble. "Who made this man my
master ? That 's what I want to know ! " he said. jt^
^ fr "Well," said Eliza, mournfully, "I always thought tha^
I must obey my master and mistress. or^I couldn't be a
" There is some sense in it, in your case ; they have brought
you up like a child, fed you, clothed you, indulged you, and
taught you, so that you have a good education ; that is some
reason why they should claim you. But I have been kicked
and cuffed and sworn at, and at the best only let alone ; and
what do I owe ? I 've paid for all my keeping a hundred
times over. I won't bear it. No, I won't!* he said,
clenching his hand with a fierce frown.
JEliza trembled, and was silent. She had never seen hdi
liuifapd in this mood before ; and her gentle system of ethics
seemed to bend like a reed in the surges of such passions.
LIFE AMONG TME LOWLY,
u You know poor little Carlo, that you gave me," added
George; "the creature has-been about all the comfort that
I "vc had. He has slept with me nights, and followed me
around days, and kind o' looked at me as if he understood
how I felt. Well, the other day I was just feeding him with
a few old scraps jLpicked up by the kitchen door, and Mas'r
# came along, aSffinfaid I was feeding him up at his expense, and
* that he could n't afford to have every nigger keeping his dog,
and ordered me to tie a stone to his neck and • throw him in
" 0, George, you didn't do it ! "
" Dok T not I ! — but he did. Mas'r and Tom pelted the •
poor drowning creature with stones. Poor thing ! he looked
at me so mournful, as if he wondered why I didn't save him.
I had to take a flogging because I ^ould n't do it myself. I
don't care. Mas'r will find out that I'm one that whipping
won't tame. My day will come yet, if he don't look out."
" What are you going to do? 0, George, don't do any-
thing wicked ; if you only trust in God, and try to do right jf
he '11 delivej you." hfc. -
"I an't a Christian like you, Eliza; my heart 's full of
bitterness ; I can't trust in God. Why does he let things be
so?" ^* ■*
"0, George, we must have faith. Mistress says that
when all things go wrong to us, we must believe that God is
doing the very best." «/X
^^That's easy to say for people that are sitting on their
sofas and riding in their carriages ; but let 'em be where 1
am, I^less it would come .some harder. I wish I could be
gooid; but my heart burns, and can't be reconciled, anyhow.
You couldn't, in my place, — you can't now, if I telkxaa
all I've got_to say^j jj^jy^^now thejpfcle yet." :
£6 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OK,
" What can be coming now ? "
"Well, lately Mas'r has been saying that he was a fool to
let me marry off the place ; that he hates Mr. Skelby and all
his tribe, because they are proud, and hold their heads up
above him, and that I 've got proud notions from you ; and
he says he won't let me come here any more, and that I
.shall take a wife and settle down on his pScW At first he
only scolded and grumbled these things ; but yesterday he
told me that I should take Mina for a wife, and Settle down in
a cabin with her, or he would sell me down river."
" Why — but you were married to me, by thejziinister, as
much as if you "d been a white man ! " said Eliza, mnply.
" Don't you know a slave can't be married? There is no
law in this country for that ; I can't hold you for my wife, if
he chooses to part us. That 's why I wish I 'd ribver seen
you, — why I wish I 'd never been born ; it would have been
better for us both, — it would have been better for this poor
child if he had never been born. All this may happen to hio^
yet!" ^^ ^ V*
" 0, but master is so kind ! ,;
" Yes, but who knows ? — -he may die — and then he may
be sold to nolmdj knows who. What pleasure is it that he is
handsome, and smart, and bright ? I tell you, Eliza, that a
sword will pierce through your soul for every good and pleas-
ant thing your child is or has ; it will make him worth too
much for you to keep ! ' '
The words smote heavily on Eliza's heart; the vision aLftte
trader came before her eyes, and, as if some one had e truck
her a deadly blow, she turned pale and gasped for breath,
She looked nervously out on the verandah, where the boy,
tired of the grave conversation, had rehire d, and where he was
riding triumphantly up and down on Mr. Shelby's walking-
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 37
stick. She would have spoken to tell her husband her fears,
but checked herself.
"No, no, — he has enough to bear, poor fellow!" she
thought. "No, I won't tell him; besides, it an't true;
Missis never deceives us."
" So, Eliza, my girl," said the husband, mournfully, " bear
tip, now ; and good-by, for I 'm going."
" Going, George ! Going where? "
"To Canada," said he, straightening himself up; "and
when I 'm there, I '11 buy you ; that 's all the hope that 's left
us. You have a kind master, that won't refuse to sell you.
I '11 buy you and the boy ; — God helping me, I will ! "
"0, dreadful ! if you should be taken? "
" I won't be taken, Eliza ; I '11 die first ! I '11 be free, or
" You won't kill yourself ! "
"No need of that. They will kill me, fast enough; they
^ievcr will get me down the river alive ! ' '
" 0, George, for my sake, do be careful ! Don't do any-
thing wicked ; don't lay hands on yourself, or anybody else !
You are tempted too much — too much; but don't — go you
must — but go carefully, prudently; pray God to help you."
" Well, then, Eliza, hear my plan. Mas'r took it into his
head to send me right by here, with a note to Mr. Symmes,
that lives a mile past. I believe he expected I should come
here to tell you what I have. It would please him, if he
thought it would aggravate c Shelby's folks,' as he calls 'em.
I 'm going home quite resigned, you understand; as if all was
over. I've got some preparations made, — and there are
those tnat will help me ; and, in the course of a week or so,
I shall be among the missing, some day. Pray for me, Eliza ,
perhaps the good Lord will hear you"
38 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
" 0, pray yourself, George, and go trusting in him; then
you won't do anything wicked."
"Well, now, good-by^ said George, holding Eliza's
hands, and gazing into her eyes, without moving. They
stood silent ; then there were last words, and sobs, and bitter
weeping, — such parting as those may make whose hope to
meet again is as the spider's web, — and the husband and
wife v/ere parted.
AN EVENING IN UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
The cabin of Uncle Tom was a small log building, close
adjoining to " the house," as the negro par excellence desig-
nates his master's dwelling. In front it had a neat garden-^
patch, where, every summer, strawberries, raspberries, and a
variety of fruits and vegetables, flourished under careful tend-
ing. The whole front of it was covered by a large scarlet
bignohia and a native multiflora rose, which, entwisting and
interlacing, left scarce a vestige of the rough logs to be
seen. Hera, also, in summer, various brilliant annuals, such
as marigolds\ petunias, four-o' clocks, found an indulgent
corner in which ^to unfold their splendors, and were the delight
and pride of Aunt Chloe's heart.
Let us enter the dwelling. The evening meal at the house
is over, and Aunt Chloe, ; who presided over its preparation as
head cook, has left to inferior officers in the kitchen the
business of clearing away and washing dishes, and come
out into her own snug territories, to " get her ol© man's
LIFE AMONG- IHE LOWLY. 89
supper; " therefore, doubt not that it is her you see by the
fire, presiding witj. anxious interest over certain frizzling
items in a stew-pan, and anon with grave consideration lifting
the cover of a bake-kettle, from whence steam forth indubi-
table intimations of "something good." A round, black,
shining face is hers, so glossy as to suggest the idea that she
might have been washed over with white of egg3, like one of
her own tea rusks. Her whole plump countenance beams
with satisfaction and contentment from under her well-starched
checked turban, bearing on it, however, if we must confess it,
a little of that tinge of self-consciousness which becomes the
first cook of the neighborhood, as Aunt Chloe was universally
held and acknowledged to be.
A cook she certainly was, in the very bone and centre of
her soul. Not a chicken or turkey or duck in the barn-yard
but looked grave when they saw her approaching, and seemed
evidently to be reflecting on their latter end ; and certain it
was that she wa<s always meditating on trussing, stuffing and
roasting, to a degree that was calculated to inspire terror in
any reflecting fowl living. Her corn-cake, in all its varieties
of hoe-cake, dodgers, muffins, and other species too numerous
to mention, was a sublime mystery to all less practised com-
pounders ; and she would shake her fat sides with honest pride
and merriment, as she would narrate the fruitless efforts that
one and another of her compeers had made to attain to her
The arrival of company at the house, the arranging of
dinners and suppers " in style," awoke all the energies of her
soul ; and no sight was more welcome to her than a pile of
travsliing trunks launched on the verandah, for then she
foresaw fresh efforts and fresh triumphs.
Just at present, however, Aunt Chloe is looking into the
40 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
bake-pan ; in -which congenial operation we shall leave her till
we finish our picture of the cottage. ^
In one corner of it stood a heel, covered neatly with a snowy
spread ; and by the side of it was a piece of carpeting, of
some considerable size. On this piece of carpeting Aunt
Chloa took her stand, as being decidedly in the upper w T alks
of life ; and it and the bed by which it lay, and the whole
corner, in fact, were treated with distinguished consideration,
and made, so far as possible, sacred from the marauding
inroads and desecrations of little folks. In fact, that corner
was the drawing-room of the establishment. In the other
corner was a bed of much humbler pretensions, and evidently
designed for use. The wall over the fireplace was adorned
with some very brilliant scriptural prints, and a portrait of
General Washington, drawn and colored in a manner which
would certainly have astonished that hero, if ever he had
happened to meet with its like.
On a rough bench in the corner, a couple of w r oolly-headed
boys, with glistening black eyes and fat shining cheeks, were
busy in superintending the first walking operations of the
baby, which, as is usually the case, consisted in getting up on
its feet, balancing a moment, and then tumbling down, — each
successive failure being violently cheered, as something decid-
A tahle, somewhat rheumatic in its limbs, was drawn out
in front of the fire, and covered with a cloth, displaying cups
and saucers of a decidedly brilliant pattern, with other symp-
toms of an approaching meal. At this table was seated
Uncle Tom, Mr. Shelby's best hand, who, as he is to be the
hero of our story, we must daguerreotype for our readers.
He was a large, broad-chested, powerfully-made man, of a
full glossy black, and a face whose truly African features
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 41
were characterized by an expression of grave and steady good
pense, united with much kindliness and benevolence. There
was something about his whole air self-respecting and dig-
nified, yet united with a confiding and humble simplicity.
He was very busily intent at this moment on a slate lying
before him, on which he was carefully and. slowly endeavoring
to accomplish a copy of some letters, in which operation he
was overlooked by young Mas'r George, a smart, bright boy
of thirteen, who appeared fully to realize the dignity of his
position as instructor.
"Not that way, Uncle Tom, — not that way," said he,
briskly, as Uncle Tom laboriously brought up the tail of his g
the wrong side out; " that makes a <?, you see."
" La sakes, now, does it? " said Uncle Tom, looking with
a respectful, admiring air, as his young teacher flourishingly
scrawled q's and g-'s innumerable for his edification ; and
then, taking the pencil in his big, heavy fingers, he patiently
" How easy white folks al'us does things ! " said Aunt
Chloe, pausing while she was greasing a griddle with a scrap
of bacon on her fork, and regarding young Master George
with pride. "The way he can write, now! and read, too!
and then to come out here evenings and read his lessons to
us, — it's mighty interestin' ! "
"But, Aunt Chloe, I'm getting mighty hungry," said
George. " Is n't that cake in the skillet almost done ? "
" Mose done, Mas'r George," said Aunt Chloe, lifting the
lid and peeping in, — "browning beautiful — a real lovely
brown. Ah ! let me alone for dat. Missis let Sally try to
make some cake, t'other day, jes to lam her, she said. ' 0,
go way, Missis,' says I: 'it really hurts my feelin's, now, tc
42 UNCLE tom's cabin: Oft,
see good vittles spiled dat ar way ! Cake ris all to one side —
no shape at all; no more than my shoe ; — go way ! "
And with this final expression of contempt for Sally's
greenness, Aunt Chloe whipped the cover off the bake-kettle,
and disclosed to view a neatly-baked pound-cake, of which no
city confectioner need to have been ashamed. This being
evidently the central point of the entertainment, Aunt Chloe
began now to bustle about earnestly in the supper department.
' ' Here you, Mose and Pete ! get out de way, you niggers !
Get away, Polly, honey, — mammy '11 give her baby somefin,
by and by. Now, Mas'r George, you jest take off dem books,
and set down now with my old man, and I '11 take up de
sausages, and have de first griddle full of cakes on your plates
in less dan no time."
" They wanted me to come to supper in the house," said
George ; " but I knew what was what too well for that, Aunt
" So you did — so you did, honey," said Aunt Chloe,
heaping tne smoking batter-cakes on his plate ; " you know'd
your old aunty 'd keep the best for you. 0, let you alone
for dat ! Go way ! " And, with that, aunty gave George a
nudge with her finger, designed to be immensely facetious,
and turned again to her griddle with great briskness.
" Now for the cake," said Mas'r George, when the activity
of the griddle department had somewhat subsided ; and, witL
that, the youngster flourished a large knife over the article in
"La bless you, Mas'r George!" said Aunt Chloe, with
earnestness, catching his arm, " you would n't be for cuttin' it
wid dat ar great heavy knife ! Smash* all down — spile all de
pretty rise of it. Here, I've got a thin old knife, I keeps
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 43
sharp a purpose. Dar now, see ! comes apart light as a feather '
Now eat away — you won't get anything to beat dat ar."
" Tom Lincon says," said George, speaking with his mouth
full, " that their Jinny is a better cook than you."
" Dem Lincons an't much count, no way !" said Aunt
Chloe, contemptuously; "I mean, set alongside our folks.
They 's 'spectable folks enough in a kinder plain way ; but, as to
gettin' up anything in style, they don't begin to have a notion
on't. Set Mas' r Lincon, now, alongside Mas'r Shelby!
Good Lor ! and Missis Lincon, — can she kinder sweep it into
a room like my missis, — so kinder splendid, yer know ! 0,
go way ! don't tell me nothin' of dem Lincons ! " — and Aunt
Chloe tossed her^iead as one who hoped she did know some-
thing of the world.
"Well, though, I've heard you say," said George, "that
Jinny was a pretty fair cook."
" So I did," said Aunt Chloe, — "I may say dat. Good,
plain, common cookin', Jinny '11 do; — make a good pone o'
bread, — bile her taters far, — her corn cakes is n't extra, not
extra now. Jinny's corn cakes is n't, but then they 's far, —
but, Lor, come to de higher branches, and what can she do ?
Why, she makes pies — sartin she does; but what kinder
crust ? Can she make your real flecky paste, as melts in your
mouth, and lies all up like a puff? Now, I went over thar
when Miss Mary was gwine to be married, and Jinny she
jest showed me de weddin' pies. Jinny and I is good friends,
ye know. I never said nothin' ; but go long, Mas'r George !
Why, I shouldn't sleep a wink for a week, if I had a batch
of pies like dem ar. Why, dey wan't no 'count 'tall."
" I suppose Jinny thought they were ever so nice." said
Thought so ! — didn't she? Thar she was ; showing 'em,
44 UNCLE tom's cabin : OR,
as innocent — ye see, it's jest here, Jinny dorCt knot**. Lor.
the family an't nothing ! She can't be spected to \arm '
'Ta'nt no fault o' hern. Ah, Mas'r George, you does n't
know half your privileges in yer family and bringin' up ! ■'
Here Aunt Chloe sighed, and rolled up her eyes with
" I 'm sure, Aunt Chloe, I understand all my pie and pud
ding privileges," said George. " Ask Tom Lincon if I don't
crow over him, every time I meet him."
Aunt Chloe sat back in her chair, and indulged in a heart*
guffaw of laughter, at this witticism of young Mas'r's
laughing till the tears rolled down her black, shining cheeks,
and varying the exercise with playfully slapping I. poking
Mas'r Georgey, and telling him to go way, and that he was
a case — that he was fit to kill her, and that he sartin would
kill her, one of these days ; and, between each of these san-
guinary predictions, going off into a laugh, each longer an(
stronger than the other, till George really began to think that
he was a very dangerously witty fellow, and that it became
him to be careful how he talked " as funny as he could."
" And so ye tolled Tom, did ye? 0, Lor! what young
uns will be up ter ! Ye crowed over Tom ? 0, Lor ! Mas'r
George, if ye wouldn't make a hornbug laugh ! "
" Yes," said George, " I says to him, ( Tom, you ought to
see some of Aunt Chloe' s pies ; they 're the right sort,'
'•Pity, now, Tom couldn't," said Aunt Chloe, on whoso
benevolent heart the idea of Tom's benighted condition seemed
to make a strong impression. " Ye oughter just ask him here
to dinner, some o' these times, Mas'r George," she added;
'it would look quite pretty of ye. Ye know, Mas'r George,
ye ough tenter feel 'bove nobody, on 'count yer privileges, 'cause
LIEB AMONG THE LOWLY. 45
all our privileges is gi'n to us ; we ought al'ays to 'member
that," said Aunt Chloe, looking quite serious.
" Well, I mean to ask Tom here, some clay next week," said
George ; " and you do your prettiest, Aunt Chloe, and we '11
make him stare. Won't we make him eat so he won't get
over it for a fortnight? "
" Yes, yes — sartin," said Aunt Chloe, delighted ; " you '11
Bee, Lor ! to think of some of our dinners ! Yer mind dat
ar great chicken pie I made when we guv de dinner to General
Knox ? I and Missis, we come pretty near quarrelling about
dat ar crust. What does get into ladies sometimes, I don't
know; but, sometimes, when a body has de heaviest kind o'
'sponsibiii<|r on 'em, as ye may say, and is all kinder *■ seris '
and taken up, dey takes dat ar time to be hangin' round and
kinder interferin' ! Now, Missis, she wanted me to do dis
way, and she wanted me to do dat way ; and, finally, I got
kinder sarcy, and, says I, ' Now, Missis, do jist look at dem
beautiful white hands o' yourn, with long fingers, and all a
sparkling with rings, like my white lilies when de dew 's on
; em ; and look at my great black stumpin hands. Now, don't ye
think dat de Lord must have meant me to make de pie-crust,
and you to stay in de parlor? Dar! I was jist so sarcy,
" And what did mother say ? " said George.
" Say? — why, she kinder larfed in her eyes — dem great
handsome eyes o' hern ; and, says she, c Well, Aunt Chloe, I
think you are about in the right on't,' says she; and she
went off in de parlor. She oughter cracked me over de head
for bein' so sarcy; but dar's whar 'tis — I can't do no thin'
with ladies in de kitchen ! "
' Well, you made out well with that dinner, — I remember
everybody said so," said George.
46 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OK,
" Didn't I? And wan't I behind de dinin'-room door dat
bery day? and didn't I see de General pass his plate three
. times for some more dat bery pie ? — and, says he, i You must
have an uncommon cook, Mrs. Shelby.' Lor! I was fit to
u And de Gineral, he knows what cookin' is," said Aunt
Chloe, drawing herself up with an air. ' ' Bery nice man, de
Gineral ! He comes of one of de bery fastest families in Old
Virginny ! He knows what 's what, now, as well as I do —
de Gineral. Ye see, there 's pi?its in all pies, Mas'r George ;
but tan't everybody knows what they is, or ortcr be. But
the Gineral, he knows ; I knew by his 'marks he made. Yes,
he knows what de pints is ! " ••
By this time, Master George had arrived at that pass to
which even a boy can come (under uncommon circumstances, )
when he really could not eat another morsel and, therefore,
he was at leisure to notice the pile of woolly heads and glis-
tening eyes which were regarding their operations hungrily
from the opposite corner.
" Here, you Mose, Pete," he said, breaking off liberal bits,
and throwing it at them; "you want some, don't you?
Come, Aunt Chloe, bake them some cakes."
And George and Tom moved to a comfortable seat in the
chimney-corner, while Aunt Chloe, after baking a goodly pile
of cakes, took her baby on her lap, and began alternately fill-
ing its mouth and her own, and distributing to Mose and Pete,
who seemed rather to prefer eating theirs as they rolled about
on the floor under the table, tickling each other, and occasion-
ally pulling the baby's toes.
" ! go long, will ye ? " said the mother, giving now and
then a kick, m a kind of general way, Under the table, when
the movement became too obstreperous. " Can't ye be decent
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 47
when white folks comes to see ye? Stop dat ar, now, will ye?
Better mind yerselves, or I '11 take ye down a button-hole
lower, when Mas'r George is gone ! "
What meaning was couched under this terrible threat, it is
difficult to say ; but certain it is mat its awful indistinctness
seemed to produce very little impression on the young sinners
" La, now ! " said Uncle Tom, " they are so full of tickle
all the while, they can't behave theirselves."
Here the boys emerged from under the table, and, with
hands and faces well plastered with molasses, began a vigorous
kissing of the baby.
" Get along wid ye ! " said the mother, pushing away their
woolly heads. " Ye '11 all stick together, and never get clar,
if ye do dat fashion. Go long to de spring and wash yer-
selves ! " she said, seconding her exhortations by a slap, which
resounded very formidably, but which seemed only to knock
out so much more laugh from the young ones, as they tumbled
precipitately over each other out of doors, where they fairly
screamed with merriment.
" Did ye ever see such aggravating young uns?" said
Aunt Chloe, rather complacently, as, producing an old towel,
kept for such emergencies, she poured a little water out of
the cracked tea-pot on it, and began rubbing off the molasses
from the baby's face and hands ; and, having polished her till
she shone, she set her down in Tom's lap, while she busied
herself in clearing away supper. The baby employed the
♦intervals in pulling Tom's nose, scratching his face, and bury-
ing her fat hands in his woolly hair, which last operation
seemed to afford her special content.
" Aint she a peart young un ? " said Tom, holding her from
him to take a full-length view ; then, getting up, he set her
48 UNCLE tom's cabin: or
on liis broad shoulder, and began capering and dancing with
her, while Mas'r George snapped at her with his pocket-
handkerchief, and Mose and Pete, now returned again, roared
after her like bears, till Aunt Chloe declared that they ' ' fairly
took her head off" with their noise. As, according to her
own statement, this surgical operation was a matter of daily
occurrence in the cabin, the declaration no whit abated the
merriment, till every one had roared and tumbled and danced
themselves down to a state of composure.
" Well, now, I hopes you 're done," said Aunt Chloe, who
had been busy in pulling out a rude box of a trundle-bed ;
" and now, you Mose and you Pete, get into thar ; for we 's
goin* to have the meetin'."
" mother, we don't wanter. We wants to sit up to
meetin', — meetin's is so curis. We likes 'em."
" La, Aunt Chloe, shove it under, and let 'em sit up,"
said Mas'r George, decisively, giving a push to the rude
Aunt Chloe, having thus saved appearances, seemed highly
delighted to push the thing under, saying, as she did so,
"Well, mebbe 'twill do 'em some good."
The house now resolved itself into a committee of the
whole, to consider the accommodations and arrangements for
" What we 's to do for cheers, now, / declar I don't know,"
said Aunt Chloe. As the meeting had been held at Uncle
Tom's, weekly, for an indefinite length of time, without any
more "cheers," there seemed some encouragement to hope
that a way would be discovered at present.
" Old Uncle Peter sung both de legs out of dat oldest
cheer, last week," suggested Mose.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 49
14 You go long ! I '11 boun' you pulled 'em out ; some c'
your shines," said Aunt Chloe.
44 Well, it '11 stand, if it only keeps jam up agin de wall ! "
u Den Uncle Peter mus'n't sit in it, cause he al'ays hitches
when he gets a singing. He hitched pretty nigh across de
room, t' other night," said Pete.
"Good Lor! get him in it, then," said Mose, 44 and den
he 'd begin, 4 Come saints and sinners, hear me tell,' and den
down he'd go," — and Mose imitated precisely the nasal
tones of the old man, tumbling on the floor, to illustrate the
• "Come now, be decent, can't ye?" said Aunt Chloe;
44 an't yer shamed? "
Mas'r George, however, joined the offender in the laugh,
and declared decidedly that Mose was a ' buster." So the
maternal admonition seemed rather to fail of effect.
"Well, ole man," said Aunt Chloe, "you'll have to tote
in them ar bar' Is."
" Mother's bar' Is is like dat ar widder's, Mas'r George
was reading 'bout, in de good book, — dey never fails," said
Mose, aside to Pete.
"I'm sure one on 'em caved in last week," said Pete,
" and let 'em all down in de middle of de singin' ; dat ar was
failin', warnt it? "
During this aside between Mose and Pete, two empty casks
had been rolled into the cabin, and being secured from rolling,
by stones on each side, boards were laid across them, which
arrangement, together with the turning down of certain tubs
and pails, and the disposing of the rickety chairs, at last
completed the preparation.
44 Mas'r George is such a beautiful reader, now, I know
5D UNCLE tom's cabin : OR,
he '11 stay to read for us," said Aunt Chloe ; " 'pears like
't will be so much more interest] n 1 ."
George very readily consented, for your boy is always
ready for anything that makes him of importance.
The room was soon filled with a motley assemblage^ from
the old gray-headed patriarch of eighty, to the young girl
and lad of fifteen. A little harmless gossip ensued on various
themes, such as w T here old Aunt Sally got her new red head-
kerchief, and how " Missis was a going to give Lizzy that
spotted muslin gown, when she 'd got her new berage made
up; " and how Mas'r Shelby was thinking of buying a new
sorrel colt, that was going to prove an addition to the glories
of the place. A few of the worshippers belonged to families
hard by, w T ho had got permission to attend, and who brought
in various choice scraps of information, about the sayings and
doings at the house and on the place, which circulated as
freely as the same sort of small change does in higher
After a while the singing commenced, to the evident delight
of all present. Not even all the disadvantage of nasal intona-
tion could prevent the effect of the naturally fine voices, in
airs at once wild and spirited. The words were sometimes
the well-known and common hymns sung in the churches
about, and sometimes of a wilder, more indefinite character,
picked up at camp-meetings.
The chorus of one of them, which ran as follows, was sung
with great energy and unction :
" Die on the field of battle,
Pie on the field of battle,
Glory in my soul."
Another special favorite had oft repeated the words —
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 51
" 0, I 'm going to glory, — won't you come along with me ?
Don't you see the angels beck'ning, and a calling me away ?
Don't you see the golden city and the everlasting day ? "
There were others, which made incessant mention of " Jor-
dan's banks," and " Canaan's fields," and the " New Jerusa-
lem ; ? ' for the negro mind, impassioned and imaginative,
always attaches itself to hymns and expressions of a vivid and
pictorial nature ; and, as they sung, some laughed, and some
cried, and some clapped hands, or shook hands rejoicingly
with each other, as if they had fairly gained the other side
of the river.
Various exhortations, or relations of experience, followed,
and intermingled with the singing. One old gray-headed
woman, long past work, but much revered as a sort of chron-
icle of the past, rose, and leaning on her staff, said —
"Well, clnTen! Well, I'm mighty glad to hear ye all
and see ye all once more, 'cause I don't know when I '11 be
gone to glory ; but I 've done got ready, chil'en ; 'pears like
I 'd got my little bundle all tied up, and my bonnet on, jest a
waitin' for the stage to come along and take me home ; some-
times, in the night, I think I hear the wheels a rattlin', and
I 'm lookin' out all the time ; now, you jest be ready too, for
I tell ye all, chil'en," she said, striking her staff hard on the
floor, "dat ar glory is a mighty thing! It 's a mighty thing,
chip en, — you don'no nothing about it, — it 's wonderful."
And the old creature sat down, with streaming tears, as
wholly overcome, while the whole circle struck up —
" Canaan, bright Canaan,
I 'm bound for the land of Canaan.'*
Mas'r George, by request, read the last chapters of Reve-
lation, often interrupted by such exclamations as " The sakes
52 UNCLE TOll'S CABIN : OR,
now ! " " Only hear that ! " " Jest think on 't ! " " Is
all that a comin' sure enough I "
George, who was a bright boy, and well trained in reli-
gious things by his mother, finding himself an object of gen-
eral admiration, threw in expositions of his own, from time to
time, with a commendable seriousness and gravity, for^Sch
he was admired by the young and blessed by the old ; and
it was agreed, on all hands, that " a minister could n't lay it
off better than he did ; " that c "t was reely 'mazin' ! "
Uncle Tom was a sort of patriarch in religious matters, in
the neighborhood. Having, naturally, an organization in
which the morale was strongly predominant, together with a
greater breadth and cultivation of mind than obtained among
his companions, he was looked up to with great respect, as a
sort of minister among them ; and the simple, hearty, sincere
style of his exhortations might have edified even better edu-
cated persons. But it was in prayer that he especially
excelled. Nothing could exceed the touching simplicity, the
child-like earnestness, of his prayer, enriched with the lan-
guage of Scripture, which seemed so entirely to have wrought
itself into his being, as to have become a part of himself, and
to drop from his lips unconsciously; in the language of a
pious old negro, he "prayed right up." And so much did
his prayer always work on the devotional feelings of his
audiences, that there seemed often a danger that it would be
lost altogether in the abundance of the responses which broke
out everywhere around him.
While this scene was passing in the cabin of the man, one
quite otherwise passed in the halls of the master.
The trader and Mr. Shelby were seated together in the
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 53
dining room afore-named, at a table covered with papers and
Mr. Shelby was busy in counting some bundles of bills,
which, as they were counted, he pushed over to the trader,
who counted them likewise.
"All fair," said the trader; "and now for signing these
Mr. Shelby hastily drew the bills of sale towards him, and
signed them, like a man that hurries over some disagreeable
business, and then pushed them over with the money. Haley
produced, from a well-worn valise, a parchment, which, after
looking over it a moment, he handed to Mr. Shelby, who took
it with a gesture of suppressed eagerness.
"Wal, now, the thing's done!" said the trader, get-
"It's done!" said Mr. Shelby, in a musing tone; and,
fetching a long breath, he repeated, "It's done! "
"Yer don't seem to feel much pleased with it, 'pears to
me," said the trader.
" Haley," said Mr. Shelby, " I hope you '11 remember that
you promised, on your honor, you would n't sell Tom, with-
out knowing what sort of hands he 's going into."
" Why, you 've just done it, sir," said the trader.
" Circumstances, you well know, obliged me," said Shelby,
"Wal, you know, they may 'blige me, too," said the
trader. " Howsomever, I '11 do the very best I can in gettin'
Tom a good berth ; as to my treatin' on him bad, you need n't
be a grain afeard. If there 's anything that I thank the
Lord for, it is that I 'm never noways cruel."
After the expositions which the trader had previously
given of his humane principles, Mr. Shelby did not feel par-
54 UNCLE tom's cabin : OB,
ticularly reassured by these declarations ; but, as they were
the best comfort the case admitted of, he allowed the trader
to depart in silence, and betook himself to a solitary cigar.
SHOWING THE FEELINGS OP LIVING PROPERTY ON CHANGING OWNERS,
Mr. and Mrs. Shelby had retired to their apartment for the
night. He was lounging in a large easy-chair, looking over
some letters that had come in the afternoon mail, and she was
standing before her mirror, brushing out the complicated
braids and curls in which Eliza had arranged her hair ; for,
noticing her pale cheeks and haggard eyes, she had excused
her attendance that night, and ordered her to bed. The
employment, naturally enough, suggested her conversation
with the girl in the morning ; and, turning to her husband,
she said, carelessly,
"By the by, Arthur, who was that low-bred fellow that
you lugged in to our dinner-table to-day ?• "
"Haley is his name," said Shelby, turning himself rather
uneasily in his chair, and continuing with his eyes fixed on a
" Haley ! Who is he, and what may be his business here,
" Well, he 's a man that I transacted some business with,
last time I was at Natchez," said Mr. Shelby.
" And he presumed on it to make himself quite at home,
and call and dine here, ay!"
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 55
''Why, I invited him; I had some accounts with him,"
"Is he a negro-trader?' said Mrs. Shelby, noticing a
certain embarrassment in her husband's manner.
"Why, my dear, what put that into your head?" said
Shelby, looking up.
"Nothing, — only Eliza came inhere, after dinner, in a
great worry, crying and taking on, and said you were talking
with a trader, and that she heard him make an offer for her
boy — the ridiculous little goose ! "
" She did, hey? " said Mr. Shelby, returning to Ins paper,
which he seemed for a few moments quite intent upon, not
perceiving that he was holding it bottom upwards.
"It will have to come out," said he, mentally; "as well
now as ever."
" I told Eliza," said Mrs. Shelby, as she continued brush-
ing her hair, "that she was a little fool for her pains, and
that you never had anything to do with that sort of persons.
Of course, I knew you never meant to sell any of our people,
--least of all, to such a fellow."
"Well, Emily," said her husband, "so I have always felt
and said ; but the fact is that my business lies so that I can-
not get on without. I shall have to sell some of my hands."
" To that creature ? Impossible ! Mr. Shelby, you cannot
" I 'm sorry to say that I am," said Mr. Shelby. " I 'v
agreed to sell Tom."
"What! our Tom? — that good, faithful creature —
been your faithful servant from a boy ! 0, Mr. Shelby ! —
and you have promised him his freedom, too, — you <nd I
have spoken to him a hundred times of it. Well I can
believe anything now,— I can believe now that j'.a could
56 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
sell little Harry, poor Eliza's only child ! " said Mrs. Shelbj,
in a tone between grief and indignation.
" Well, since you must know all, it is so. I have agreed
to sell Tom and Harry both ; and I don't know why I am to
be rated, as if I were a monster, for doing what every one
does every day."
" But why, of all others, choose these? " said Mrs. Shelby.
" Why sell them, of all on the place, if you must sell at all?"
" Because they will bring the highest sum of any, — that 's
why. I could choose another, if you say so. The fellow
made me a high bid on Eliza, if that would suit you any
better," said Mr. Shelby.
" The wretch ! " said Mrs. Shelby, vehemently.
"Well, I didn't listen to it, a moment, — out of regard to
your feelings, I wouldn't; — so give me some credit."
"My dear," said Mrs. Shelby, recollecting herself, "for-
give me. I have been hasty. I was surprised, and entirely
unprepared for this ; — but surely you will allow me to inter-
cede for these poor creatures. Tom is a noble-hearted, faith-
ful fellow, if he is black. I do believe, Mr. Shelby, that if
he were put to it, he would lay down his life for you."
"I know it, — I dare say; — but what's the use of all
this ? — I can't help myself."
"Why not make a pecuniary sacrifice? I'm willing to
bear my part of the inconvenience. 0, Mr. Shelby, I have
tried — tried most faithfully, as a Christian woman should —
to do my duty to these poor, simple, dependent crtatures. I
have cared for them, instructed them, watched over them, and
known all their little cares and joys, for years ; and how can
I ever hold up my head again among them, if, for the sake
of a little paltry gain, we sell such a faithful, excellent, con
tiding creature as poor Tom, and tear from him in a moment
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. *>7
all we have taught him to love and value ? I have taught
them the duties of the family, of parent and child, and hus-
band and wife; and how can I bear to have this open
acknowledgment that we care for no tie, no duty, no relation,
however sacred, compared with money ? I have talked with
EliBrabout her boy — her duty to him as a Christian mother,
to watch over him, pray for him, and bring him up in a
Christian way ; and now what can I say, if you tear him
away, and sell him, soul and body, to a profane, unprincipled
man, just to save a little money? I have told her that one
soul is worth more than all the money in the world ; and
how will she believe me when she sees us turn round and sell
her child ? — sell him, perhaps, to certain ruin of body and
"I'm sorry you feel so about it, Emily, — indeed I am,"
said Mr, Shelby ; " and I respect your feelings, too, though I
don't pretend to share them to their full extent; but I tell
you now, solemnly, it 's of no use — I can't help myself. I
did n't mean to tell you this, Emily ; but, in plain words,
there is no choice between selling these two and selling
everything. Either they must go, or all must. Haley has
come into possession of a mortgage, which, if I don't clear off
with him directly, will take everything before it. I 've raked,
and scraped, and borrowed, and all but begged, — and the
price of these two was needed to make up the balance, and I
had to give them up. Haley fancied the child ; he agreed to
settle the matter that way, and no other. I was in his
power, and had to do it. If you feel so to have them sold,
would it be any better to have all sold? "
Mrs. Shelby stood like one stricken. Finally, turning to
her toilet, she rested her face in her hands, and gave a sort
58 UNCLE tom's cabin : OR,
" This is God's curse on slavery ! — a bitter, bitter, most
accursed thing ! — a curse to the master and a curse to the
slave ! I was a fool to think I could make anything good out
of such a deadly evil. It is a sin to hold a slave under laws
like ours, — I always felt it was, — I always thought so
when I was a girl, — I thought so still more after I joined
the church ; but I thought I could gild it over, — I thought,
by kindness, and care, and instruction, I could make the
condition of mine better than freedom — fool that I was ! "
" Why, wife, you are getting to be an abolitionist, quite."
" Abolitionist ! if they knew all I know about slavery they
might talk ! We don't need them to tell us ; you know I
never thought that slavery was right — never felt willing to
" Well, therein you differ from many wise and pious men,"
said Mr. Shelby. " You remember Mr. B.'s sermon, the
" I don't want to hear such sermons ; I never wish to
hear Mr. B. in our church again. Ministers can't help the
evil, perhaps, — can't cure it, any more than we can, — but
defend it ! — it always went against my common sense. And
I think you did n't think much of that sermon, either."
"Well," said Shelby, " I must say these ministers some-
times carry matters further than we poor sinners would
exactly dare to do. We men of the world must wink pretty
hard at various things, and get used to a deal that is n't the
exact thing. But we don't quite fancy, when women and
ministers come out broad and square, and go beyond us in
matters of either modesty or morals, that 's a fact. But now,
my dear, I trust you see the necessity of the thing, and you
see that I have done the very best that circumstances would
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 59
" yes, yes ! " said Mrs. Shelby, hurriedly and abstract-
edly fingering her gold watch, — " I have n't any jewelry of
any amount," she added, thoughtfully; "but would not this
watch do something 1 — it was an expensive one, when it was
bought. If I could only at least save Eliza's child, I would
sacrifice anything I have."
"I'm sorry, very sorry, Emily," said Mr. Shelby, " I 'i*
sorry this takes hold of you so ; but it will do no good. The
fact is, Emily, the thing 's done ; the bills of sale are already
signed, and in Haley's hands ; and you must be thankful it
is no worse. That man has had it in his power to ruin us
all, — and now he is fairly off. If you knew the man as I
do, you 'd think that we had had a narrow escape."
"Is he so hard, then ? "
"Why, not a cruel man, exactly, but a man of leather, —
a man alive to nothing but trade and profit, — cool, and
unhesitating, and unrelenting, as death and the grave. He 'd
sell his own mother at a good per centage — not wishing the
old woman any harm, either."
"And this wretch owns that good, faithful Tom, and
Eliza's child ! "
" Well, my dear, the fact is that this goes rather hard with
me ; it 's a thing I hate to think of. Haley wants to drive
matters, and take possession to-morrow. I'm going to get
out my horse bright and early, and be off. I can't see Tom,
that 's a fact ; and you had better arrange a drive somewhere,
and carry Eliza off. Let the thing be done when she is out
"No, no," said Mrs. Shelby ; " I '11 be in no sense accom-
plice or help in tins cruel business. I '11 go and see poor old
Tom, God help him, in his distress ! They shall see, at any
rate, that their mistress can feel for and with them. As to
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
Eliza, I dare not think about it. The Lord forgive us !
What have we done, that this cruel necessity should come
on us 1 "
•There was one listener to this conversation whom Mr. and
Mrs. Shelby little suspected.
Communicating with their apartment was a large closet,
opening by a door into the outer passage. When Mrs. Shelby
had dismissed Eliza for the night, her feverish and excited
aaind had suggested the idea of this closet ; and she had hidden
herself there, and, with her ear pressed close against the crack
df the door, had lost not a word of the conversation.
When the voices died into silence, she rose and crept
itealthily away. Pale, shivering, with rigid features and
ompressed lips, she looked an entirely altered being from the
k )ft and timid creature she had been hitherto. She moved
ov utiously along the entry, paused one moment at her mis-
tress' door, and raised her hands in mute appeal to Heaven,
and then turned and glided into her own room. It was a
quiet, neat apartment, on the same floor with her mistress.
There was the pleasant sunny window, where she had often
sat singing at her sewing ; there a little case of books, and
various little fancy articles, ranged by them, the gifts of
Christmas holidays ; there was her simple wardrobe in the
closet and in the drawers : — here was, in short, her home ;
and, on the whole, a happy one it had been to her. But
there, on the bed, lay her slumbering boy, his long curls fall-
ing negligently around his unconscious face, his rosy mouth
half open, his little fat hands thrown out over the bed-
clothes, and a smile spread like a sunbeam over his whole
" Poor boy ! poor fellow ! " said Eliza; " they have sold
you ! but your mother will save you yet ! "
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 61
No tear dropped over that pillow ; in such straits as these,
the heart has no tears to give, — it drops only blood, bleeding
itself away in silence. She took a piece of paper and a pencil,
and wrote, hastily,
"A Missis ! dear Missis ! don't think me ungrateful, —
don't think hard of me, any way, — I heard all you and mas-
ter said to-night. I am going to try to save my boy — you
will not blame me ! God bless and reward you for all your
kindness ! "
Hastily folding and directing this, she went to a drawer and
made up a little package of clothing for her boy, which she
tied -with a handkerchief firmly round her waist; and, so
fond i3 a mother's remembrance, that, even in the terrors of
that hour, she did not forget to put in the little package one
or two of his favorite toys, reserving a gayly painted parrot to
amuse him, when she should be called on to awaken him. It
was some trouble to arouse the little sleeper ; but, after some
effort, he sat up, and was playing with his bird, while his
mother was putting on her bonnet and shawl.
"Where are you going, mother?" said he, as she drew
near the bed, with his little coat and cap.
His mother drew near, and looked so earnestly into his
eyes, that he at once divined that something unusual was the
" Hush, Harry," she said ; " musn't speak loud, or they
will hear us. A wicked man was coming to take little Harry
away from his mother, and carry him 'way off in the dark ;
but mother won't let him — she's going to put on her little
boy's cap and coat, and run off with him, so the ugly man
can't catch him."
Saying these words, she had tied and buttoned on the child's
simple outfit, and, taking him in her arms, she whispered to
62 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
him to be very still ; and, opening a door in her room which
led into the outer verandah, she glided noiselessly out.
• It was a sparkling, frosty, star-light night, and the mother
wrapped the shawl close round her child, as, perfectly quiet
with vague terror, he clung round her neck.
Old Bruno, a great Newfoundland, who slept at the end of
the porch, rose, with a low growl, as she came near. She
gently spoke his name, and the animal, an old pet and play-
mate of hers, instantly, wagging his tail, prepared to follow
her, though apparently revolving much, in his simple dog's
head, what such an indiscreet midnight promenade might
mean. Some dim ideas of imprudence or impropriety in the
measure seemed to embarrass him considerably ; for he often
stopped, as Eliza glided forward, and looked wistfully, first at
her and then at the house, and then, as if reassured by reflec-
tion, he pattered along after her again. A few minutes
brought them to the window of Uncle Tom's cottage, and
Eliza, stopping, tapped lightly on the window-pane.
The prayer-meeting at Uncle Tom's had, in the order of
hymn-singing, been protracted to a very late hour ; and, as
Uncle Tom had indulged himself in a few lengthy solos after-
wards, the consequence was, that, although it was now between
twelve and one o'clock, he and his worthy helpmeet were not
" Good Lord! what's that?" said Aunt Chloc, starting
up and hastily drawing the curtain. "My sakes alive, if it
an't Lizy ! Get on your clothes, old man, quick ! — there 's
old Bruno, too, a pawin' round ; what on airth ! I 'm gwine
to open the door."
And, suiting the action to the word, the door flew open,
and the light of the tallow candle, which Tom had hastily
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 63
lighted, fell on the haggard face and dark, -wild eyes of the
"Lord bless you ! — I 'm skeered to look at ye, Lizy ! Are
ye tuck sick, or what 's come over ye ? "
"I'm running away — Uncle Tom and Aunt Chloe —
carrying off my child — Master sold him ! "
" Sold him ? " echoed both, lifting up their hands in dismay
"Yes, sold him!" said Eliza, firmly; "I crept into the
closet by Mistress' door to-night, and I heard Master tell
Missis that he had sold my Harry, and you, Uncle Tom, both,
to a trader ; and that he was going off this morning on his
horse, and that the man was to take possession to-day."
Tom had stood, during this speech, with his hands raised,
and his eyes dilated, like a man in a dream. Slowly and
gradually, as its meaning came over him, he collapsed, rather
than seated himself, on his old chair, and sunk his head down
upon his knees.
"The good Lord have pity on us!" said Aunt Chloe.
" ! it don't seem as if it was true ! What has he done,
that Mas'r should sell him?"
"He hasn't done anything, — it is n't for that. Master
don't want to sell ; and Missis — she 's always good. I heard
her plead and beg for us ; but he told her 'twas no use ; that
he was in this man's debt, and that this man had got the
power over him; and that if he didn't pay him off clear,
it would end in his having to sell the place and all the people, .
and move off. Yes, I heard him say there was no choice
between selling these two and selling all, the man was driving
3iim so hard. Master said he was sorry; but oh, Missis
— you ought to have heard her talk ! If she an't a Chris-
tian and an angel, there never was one. J 'm a wicked girl
to leave her so; but, then, I can't help it. She said, herself,
64 UNCLE TOM'S cabin: OR,
one soul was worth more than the world ; and this boy has a
soul, and if I let him be carried off, who knows what '11
become of it? It must be right: but, if it an't right, the
Lord forgive me, for I can't help doing it ! "
" Well, old man ! '.' said Aunt Chloe, " why don't you go 4
too ? Will you wait to be toted down river, where they kill
niggers with hard work and starving ? I'da heap rather die
than go there, any day ! There 's time for ye, — be off with
Lizy, — you J ve got a pass to come and go any time. Come,
bustle up, and I'll get your things together."
Tom slowly raised his head, and looked sorrowfully but
quietly around, and said,
" JSTo, no — I an't going. Let Eliza go — it 's her right !
I wouldn't be the one to say no — 'tan't in natur for her to
stay ; but you heard what she said ! If I must be sold, or
all the people on the place, and everything go to rack, why,
let me be sold. I s'pose I can b'ar it as well as any on 'em,"
he added, while something like a sob and a sigh shook his
broad, rough chest convulsively. u Mas'r always found me
on the spot — he always will. I never have broke trust, nor
used my pass no ways contrary to my word, and I never will.
It 's better for me alone to go, than to break up the place and
sell all. Mas'r an't to blame, Chloe, and he'll take care of
you and the poor — "
Here he turned to the rough trundle-bed full of little woolly
heads, and broke fairly down. He leaned over the back of
the chair, and covered his face with his large hands. Sobs,
heavy, hoarse and loud, shook the chair, and great tears fell
through his fingers on the floor: just such tears, sir, as you
dropped into the coffin where lay your first-born son ; such
tears, woman, as you shed when you heard the cries of your
dying babe. For, sir, he was a man, — and you are but another
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 65
man. And, woman, though dressed in silk and jewels, you
are but a woman, and, in life's great straits and mighty griefs,
ye feel but one sorrow !
" And now," said Eliza, as she stood in the door, "I saw
my husband only this afternoon, and I little knew then what
was to come. They have pushed him to the very last standing
place, and he told me, to-day, that he was going to run away .
Do try, if you can, to get word to him. Tell him how I
went, and why I went ; and tell him I 'm going to try and
find Canada. You must give my love to him, and tell him,
if I never see him again," — she turned away, and stood with
her back to them for a moment, and then added, in a husky
voice, "tell him to be as good as he can, and try and meet
me in the kingdom of heaven."
" Call Bruno in there," she added. " Shut the door on
him, poor beast ! He must n't go with me! "
A few last words and tears, a few simple adieus and bless-
ings, and, clasping her wondering and affrighted child in her
arms, she glided noiselessly away.
66 UNCLE TOM'S cabin : OR,
Mr. and. Mrs. Shelby, after their protracted discussion of
the night before, did not readily sink to repose, and, in
consequence, slept somewhat later than usual, the ensuing
"I wonder what keeps Eliza," said Mrs. Shelby, after
giving her bell repeated pulls, to no purpose.
Mr. Shelby was standing before his dressing-glass, sharp-
ening his razor ; and just then the door opened, and a colored
boy entered, with his shaving -water.
"Andy," said his mistress, " step to Eliza's door, and tell
her I have rung for her three times. Poor thing ! " she
added, to herself, with a sigh.
Andy soon returned, with eyes very wide in astonishment.
•'Lor, Missis ! Lizy's drawers is all open,, and her things
all lying every which way ; and I believe she 's just done
clared out ! "
The truth flashed upon Mr. Shelby and his wife at the
same moment. He exclaime'd,
" Then she suspected it, and she 's off! "
" The Lord be thanked!" said Mrs. Shelby. "I trust
" Wife, you talk like a fool ! Really, it will be something
pretty awkward for me, if she is. Haley saw that I hesitated
about selling this child, and he '11 think I connived at it, to
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 67
get him out of the way. It touches my honor ! " And Mr.
Shelby left the room hastily.
There was great running and ejaculating, and opening and
shutting of doors, and appearance of faces in all shades of color
in different places, for about a quarter of an hour. One
person only, who might have shed some light on the mat-
ter, was entirely silent, und that was the head cook, Aunt
Chloe. Silently, and with a heavy cloud settled down over
her once joyous face, she proceeded making out her breakfast
biscuits, as if she heard and saw nothing of the excitement
Very soon, about a dozen young imps were roosting, like
so many crows, on the verandah railings, each one determined
to be. the first one to apprize the strange Mas'r of his ill luck.
" He '11 be rael mad, I '11 be bound," said Andy.
" WonUt he swar ! " said little black Jake.
"Yes, for he does swar," said woolly-headed Mandy. "I
hearn him yesterday, at dinner. I hearn all about it then,
'cause I got into the closet where Missis keeps the great jugs,
and I hearn every word." And Mandy, who had never in
her life thought of the meaning of a word she had heard,
more than a black cat, now took airs of superior wisdom, and
strutted about, forgetting to state that, though actually coiled
up among the jugs at the time specified, she had been fast
asleep all the time.
When, at last, Haley appeared, booted and spurred, he was
saluted with the bad tidings on every hand. The young
imps on ths verandah were not disappointed in their hope of
hearing him " swar," which he did with a fluency and fer-
vency which delighted them all amazingly, as they ducked
and dodged hither and thither, to be out of the reach of his
riding- whip ; and, all whooping off together, they tumbled, in
68 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
a piie of immeasurable giggle, on the withered turf under the
verandah, where they kicked up their heels and shouted to
their full satisfaction.
" If I had the little devils ! " muttered Haley, between his
"But you ha'nt got 'em, though!" said Andy, with a
triumphant flourish, and making a string of indescribable
mouths at the unfortunate trader's back, when he was fairly
"I say now, Shelby, this yer's a most extro'rnary busi-
ness ! " said Haley, as he abruptly entered the parlor. " It
seems that gal's off, with her young un."
"Mr. Haley, Mrs. Shelby is present," said Mr. Shelby.
"I beg pardon, ma'am," said Haley, bowing slightly, with
a still lowering brow; " but still I say, as I said before, this
yer 's a sing'lar report. Is it true, sir? "
"Sir," said Mr. Shelby, "if you wish to communicate
with me, you must observe something of the decorum of a
gentleman. Andy, take Mr. Haley's hat and riding- whip.
Take a seat, sir. Yes, sir ; I regret to say that the young
woman, excited by overhearing, or having reported to her,
something of this business, has taken her child in the night,
and made off."
"I did expect fair dealing in this matter, I confess," said
"Well, sir," said Mr. Shelby, turning sharply round upon
him, "what am I to understand by that remark? If any
man calls my honor in question, I have but one answer for
The trader cowered at this, and in a somewhat lower tone
said that "it was plaguy hard on a fellow, that had made a
fair bargain, to be gulled that way."
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 69
"Mr. Haley," said Mr. Shelby, "if I did not think you
had some cause for disappointment, I should not have borne
from you the rude and unceremonious style of your entrance
into my parlor this morning. I say thus much, however,
since appearances call for it, that I shall allow of no insinua-
tions cast upon me, as if I were at all partner to any unfair-
ness in this matter. Moreover, I shall feel bound to give
you every assistance, in the use of horses, servants, &c, in
the recovery of your property. So, in short, Haley," said he,
suddenly dropping from the tone of dignified coolness to his
ordinary one of easy frankness, " the best way for you is to
keep good-natured and eat some breakfast, and we will then
see what is to be done."
Mrs. Shelby now rose, and said her engagements would
prevent her being at the breakfast- table that morning ; and,
deputing a very respectable mulatto woman to attend to the
gentlemen's coffee at the side-board, she left the room.
" Old lady don't like your humble servant, over and
above," said Haley, with an uneasy effort to be very familiar.
"lam not accustomed to hear my wife spoken of with such
freedom," said Mr. Shelby, dryly.
"Beg pardon; of course, only a joke, you know," said
Haley, forcing a laugh.
" Some jokes are less agreeable than others," rejoined
" Devilish free, now I've signed those papers, cuss him ! "
muttered Haley to himself; " quite grand, since yesterday ! "
Never did fall of any prime minister at court occasion
wider surges of sensation than the report of Tom's fate among
his compeers on the place. It was the topic in every mouth,
everywhere ; and nothing was done in the house or in the
field, but to discuss its probable results. Eliza's flight — an
70 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
unprecedented event on the place — was also a gr.eat accessory
in stimulating the general excitement.
Black Sam, as he was commonly called, from his being
about three shades blacker than any other son of ebony on the
place, was revolving the matter profoundly in all its phases
and bearings, with a comprehensiveness of vision and a strict
look-out to his own personal well-being, that would have done
credit to any white patriot in Washington.
" It 's an ill wind dat blows nOwhar, — dat ar a fact," said
Sam, sententiously, giving an additional hoist to his panta-
loons, and adroitly substituting a long nail in place of a miss-
ing suspender-button, with which effort of mechanical genius
he seemed highly delighted.
"Yes, it's an ill wind blows nowhar," he repeated.
" Now, dar, Tom's down — wal, course der's room for some
nigger to be up — and why not dis nigger ? — dat 's de idee.
Tom, a ridin' round de country — boots blacked — pass in
his pocket — all grand as Cuffee — who but he ? Now, why
should n't Sam ? — dat 's what I want to know."
"Halloo, Sam — Sam! Mas'r wants you to cotch Bill
and Jerry," said Andy, cutting short Sam's soliloquy.
" High ! what 's afoot now, young un 1 "
"Why, you don't know, I s'pose, that Lizy's cut stick,
and clared out, with her young un ? "
" You teach your granny ! " said Sam, with infinite con-
tempt; " kno wed it a heap sight sooner than you did; this
nigger an't so green, now ! "
" Well, anyhow, Mas'r wants Bill and Jerry geared right
up ; and you and I 's to go with Mas'r Haley, to look arter
" Good, now ! dat 's de time o' day ! " said Sam. " It 's
Sam dat 's called for in dese yer times. He 's de nigger.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 71
See if I don't cotch her, now ; Mas'r '11 see what Sam can
" Ah ! but j Sam,' ; said Andy, " you 'd better think twice ;
for Missis don't want her cotched, and she "1 be in yer wool."
" High ! " said Sam, opening his eyes. " How you know
"Heard her say so, my own self, dis blessed mornin', when
I bring in Mas'r s shaving- water. She sent me to see why
Lizy did n't come to dress her ; and when I tolled her she
was off, she jest ris up, and ses she, l The Lord be praised ; '
and Mas'r, he seemed rael mad, and ses he, ' Wife, you talk
like a fool.' But Lor ! she '11 bring him to ! I knows well
enough how that '11 be, — it 's allers best to stand Missis'
side the fence, now I tell yer."
Black Sam, upon this, scratched his woolly pate, which, if
it did not contain very profound wisdom, still contained a
great deal of a particular species much in demand among
politicians of all complexions and countries, and vulgarly
denominated "knowing which side the bread is buttered; "
so, stopping with grave consideration, he again gave a hitch
to his pantaloons, which was his regularly organized method
of assisting his mental perplexities.
" Der an't no sayin' — never — 'bout no kind o' thing in
dis yer world," he said, at last.
Sam spoke like a philosopher, emphasizing this — as if he
had had a large experience in different sorts of worlds, and
therefore had come to his conclusions advisedly.
u Now, sartin I 'd a said that Missis would a scoured the
varsal world after Lizy," added Sam, thoughtfully.
" So she would," said Andy ; " but can't ye see through a
ladder, ye black nigger ? Missis don't want dis yer Mas'r
Haley to get Lizy's boy ; dat 's de go ! "
72 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR
"High!" said Sam, -with an indescribable intonation,
known only to those who have heard it among the negroes.
"And I'll tell yer more 'n all," said Andy; "I specs
you 'd better be making tracks for dem hosses, — mighty sud-
den, too, — for I hearn Missis 'quirin' arter yer, — so you've
stood foolin' long enough."
Sam, upon this, began to bestir himself in real earnest, and
after a while appeared, bearing down gloriously towards the
house, with Bill and Jerry in a full canter, and adroitly
throwing himself off before they had any idea of stopping, he
brought them up alongside of the horse-post like a tornado.
Haley's horse, which was a skittish young colt, winced, and
bounced, and pulled hard at his halter.
"Ho, ho ! " said Sam, "skeery, ar ye?" and his black
visage lighted up with a curious, mischievous gleam. " I '11
fix ye now ! " said he.
There was a large beech-tree overshadowing the place, and
the small, sharp, triangular beech-nuts lay scattered thickly
on the ground. With one of these in his fingers, Sam
approached the colt, stroked and patted, and seemed appa-
rently busy in soothing his agitation. On pretence of adjust-
ing the saddle, he adroitly slipped under it the sharp little
nut, in such a manner that the least weight brought upon the
saddle would annoy the nervous sensibilities of the animal,
without leaving any perceptible graze or wound.
" Dar ! " he said, rolling his eyes with an approving grin;
" me fix 'emf"
At this moment Mrs. Shelby appeared on the balcony,
beckoning to him. Sam approached with as good a determi-
nation to pay court as did ever suitor after a vacant place at
St. James' or Washington.
LIFE AMONU 'XI1E LOWLY. 73
" Why have you been loitering so, Sam ? I sent Andy to
tell you to hurry."
"Lord bless you, Missis!" said Sam, "horses won't be
notched all in a mimit ; they 'd done clared out way down to
the south pasture, and the Lord knows whar ! "
" Sam, how often must I tell you not to say ' Lord bless
you, and the Lord knows,' and such things ? It 's wicked."
"0, Lord bless my soul ! I done forgot, Missis ! I won't
say nothing of de sort no more."
" Why, Sam, you just have said it again."
"Did I ? 0, Lord ! I mean — I did n't go fur to say it."
" You must be careful, Sam."
" Just let me get my breath, Missis, and I '11 start fair.
I '11 be berry careful."
"Well, Sam, you are to go with Mr. Haley, to show him
the road, and help him. Be careful of the horses, Sam ; you
know Jerry was a little lame last week; don't ride them too
Mrs. Shelby spoke the last words with a low voice, and
" Let dis child alone for dat ! " said Sam, rolling up his
eyes with a volume of meaning. " Lord knows ! High !
Did n't say dat ! " said he, suddenly catching his breath, with
a ludicrous nourish of apprehension, which made his mistress
laugh, spite of herself. "Yes, Missis, I'll look out for de
hosses ! "
" Now, Andy," said Sam, returning to his stand under the
beech-trees, "you see I wouldn't be 'tall surprised if dat
ar gen'lman's crittur should gib a fling, by and by, when he
comes to be a gettin' up. You know, Andy, critturs will do
such things; " and therewith Sam poked Andy in the side,
m % highly suggestive manner.
J4 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OK,
" High ! " said Andy, with an air of instant appreciation.
'•Yes, you see, Andy, Missis wants to make time, — dat
jc 's clar to der most or' nary 'bserver. I jis make a little
. or her. Now, you see, get all dese yer hosses loose, caperin'
^ermiscus round dis yer lot and down to de wood dar, and I
*pcc Mas'r won't be off in a hurry."
"Yer see," said Sam, "yer see, Andy, if any such thing
should happen as that Mas'r Haley's horse should begin to
act contrary, and cut up, you and I jist lets go of our'n to
help him, and we'll help him — oh yes ! " And Sam and
Andy laid their heads back on their shoulders, and broke into
a low, immoderate laugh, snapping their fingers and flourish-
ing their heels with exquisite delight.
At this instant, Haley appeared on the verandah. Some-
what mollified by certain cups of very good coffee, he came
out smiling and talking, in tolerably restored humor. Sam
and Andy, clawing for certain fragmentary palm-leaves,
which they were in the habit of considering as hats, flew to
the horse-posts, to be ready to " help Mas'r."
Sam's palm-leaf had been ingeniously disentangled from all
pretensions to braid, as respects its brim; and the slivers start-
ing apart, and standing upright, gave it a blazing air of free-
dom and defiance, quite equal to that of any Fejee chief;
while the whole brim of Andy's being departed bodily, he
rapped the crown on his head with a dexterous thump, and
looked about well pleased, as if to say, " Who says I have n't
got a hat?"
"Well, boys," said Haley, "look alive now; we must lose
"Not a bit of him, Mas'r!" said Sam, putting Haley'*!
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 75
rein in his hand, and holding his stirrup, while Andy was
untying the other two horses.
The instant Haley touched the saddle, the mettlesome crea-
ture bounded from the earth with a sudden spring, that threw
his master sprawling, some feet off, on the soft, dry turf.
Sam, with frantic ejaculations, made a dive at the reins, but
only succeeded in brushing the blazing palm-leaf afore-named
into the horse's eyes, which by no means tended to allay the
confusion of his nerve3. So, with great vehemence, he over-
turned Sam, and, giving two or three contemptuous snorts,
nourished his heels vigorously in the air, and was soon pranc-
ing away towards the lower end of the lawn, followed by Bill
and Jerry, whom Andy had not failed to let loose, according
to contract, speeding them off with various direful ejacula-
tions. And now ensued a miscellaneous scene of confusion.
Sam and Andy ran and shouted, — dogs barked here
and there, — and Mike, Mose, Mandy, Fanny, and all the
smaller specimens on the place, both male and female, raced,
clapped hands, whooped, and shouted, with outrageous offi-
ciousness and untiring zeal.
Haley's horse, which was a white one, and very fleet and
spirited, appeared to enter into the spirit of the scene with
great gusto ; and having for his coursing ground a lawn of
nearly half a mile in extent, gently sloping down on every
side into indefinite woodland, he appeared to take infinite
delight in seeing how near he could allow his pursuers to
approach him, and then, when within a hand's breadth, whisk
off with a start and a snort, like a mischievous beast as he
was, and career fax down into some alley of the wood-lot.
Nothing was further from Sam's mind than to have any one
of the troop taken until such season as shoul . seem to him
most befittincp, — and the exertions that he made were cer-
76 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
tainly most heroic. Like the sw,ord of Coeur De Lion, which
always blazed in the front and thickest of the battle, Sam's
palm-lea** vvas to be seen everywhere when there was the
least danger that a horse could be caught ; — there he would
bear down full tilt, shouting, " Now for it ! cotch him ! cotch
him i " in a way that would set everything to indiscriminate
rout in a moment.
Haley ran up and down, and cursed and swore and stamped
miscellaneously. Mr. Shelby in vain tried to shout directions
from the balcony, and Mrs. Shelby from her chamber window
alternately laughed and wondered, — not without some ink-
ling of what lay at the bottom of all this confusion.
At last, about twelve o'clock, Sam appeared triumphant,
mounted on Jerry, with Haley's horse by his side, reeking
with sweat, but with flashing eyes and dilated nostrils, show-
ing that the spirit of freedom had not yet entirely subsided.
"He's cotched ! " he exclaimed, triumphantly. " If 't
had n't been for me, they might a bust theirselves, all on 'em;
but I cotched him !"
" You ! " growled Haley, in no amiable mood. "If it
had n't been for you, this never would have happened."
" Lord bless us, Mas'r," said Sam, in a tone of the deepest
concern, " and me that has been racin' and chasm' till the
swet jest pours off me ! "
"Well, well!" said Haley, "you've lost me near three
hours, with your cursed nonsense. Now let's be off, and
have no nore fooling."
"Why, Mas'r," said Sam, in a deprecating tone, "I
believe you mean to kill us all clar, horses and all. Here we
%'e all just ready to drop down, and the critters all in a reek
of sweat. Why, Mas'r won't think of star tin' on now till
arter dinner. Mas'r's hoss wants rubben down • see how he
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. i i
splashed hisself; and Jerry limps too; don't think Missii
would be willin' to have us start dis yer way, no how. Lore
bless you, Mas'r, we can ketch up, if we do stop. Lizy
never was no great of a walker."
Mrs. Shelby, who, greatly to her amusement, had over-
heard this conversation from the verandah, now resolved to
do her part. She came forward, and, courteously expressing
her concern for Haley's accident, pressed him to stay to
dinner, saying that the cook should bring it on the table
Thus, all things' considered, Haley, with rather an equivo-
cal grace, proceeded to the parlor, while Sam, rolling his eyes
after him with unutterable meaning, proceeded gravely with
the horses to the stable-yard.
u Did yer see him, Andy ? did yer see him 1 " said Sam,
when he had got fairly beyond the shelter of the barn, and
fastened the horse to a post. " 0, Lor, if it warn't as good
as a meetin', now, to see him a dancin' and kickin' and
swarin' at us. Didn't I hear him? Swar away, ole fellow
(says I to myself) ; will yer have yer boss now, or wait till
you cotcli him? (says I). Lor, Andy, I think I can see him
now." And Sam and Andy leaned up against the barn, and
laughed to their hearts' content.
" Yer oughter seen how mad he looked, when I brought the
boss up. Lord, he 'd a killed me, if he durs' to ; and there 1
was a standin' as innercent and as humble."
"Lor, I seed you," said Andy; u an't you an old hoss,
" Rather specks I am," said Sam ; u did yer see Missis up
stars at the winder ? I seed her laughin'."
"I'm sure, I was racin' so, I didn't see nothing," said
78 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: Oil,
"Well, yer see," said Sam, proceeding gravely to wash
down Haley's pony, " I'se 'quired what yer may call a habit
o' bobservation, Andy. It 's a very 'portant habit, Andy ;
and I 'commend yer to be cultivatin' it, now yer young.
Hist up that hind foot, Andy. Yer see, Andy, it 's bobser-
v at ion makes all <de difference in niggers. Did n't I see
which way the wind blew dis yer mornin' ? Did n't I see
what Missis wanted, though she never let on ? Dat ar 's
bobservation, Andy. I 'spects it 's what you may call a fac-
ulty. Faculties is. different in different peoples, but cultiva-
tion of 'em goes a great way."
" I guess if I had n't helped your bobservation dis mornin',
yer would n't have seen your way so smart," said Andy.
" Andy," said Sam, "you's a promisin' child, der an't no
manner o' doubt. I thinks lots of yer, Andy ; and I don't
feel no ways ashamed to take idees from you. We oughten-
ter overlook nobody, Andy, cause the smartest on us gets
tripped up sometimes. And so,, Andy, let 's go up to the
house now. I'll be boun' Missis '11 give us an uncommon
^ood bite, dis yer time."
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 70
THE MOTHER'S STRUGGLE.
It is impossible to conceive of a human creature more
wholly desola^ and forlorn than Eliza, when she turned her
footsteps froni (Jncle Tom's cabin.
Her husband's suffering and clangers, and the danger of
her child, all donded in her mind, with a confused and stun-
ning sense ^ the risk she was running, in leaving the only
home sh'3 n.u ever known, and cutting loose from the protec-
tion of a friend whom she loved and revered. Then there
was the parting from every familiar object, — the place where
she had grown up, the trees under which she had played, the
groves where she had walked many an evening in happier
days, by the side of her young husband, — everything, as it
lay in the clear, frosty starlight, seemed to speak reproach-
fully to her, and ask her whither could she go from a home
But stronger than all was maternal love, wrought into a
paroxysm of frenzy by the near approach of a fearful danger.
Her boy was old enough to have walked by her side, and, in
an indifferent case, she would only have led him by the hand ;
but now the bare thought of putting him out of her arms
made her shudder, and she strained him to her bpsom with a
convulsive grasp, as she went rapidly forward.
The frosty ground creaked beneath her feet, and she trem-
bled at the sound ; every quaking leaf and fluttering shadow
sent the blood backward to her heart, and quickened her
bO UNCLE tqm's cabin : on,
footsteps. She ■wondered within herself at the strength that
seemed to be come upon her ; for she felt the weight of her boy
as if it had been a feather, and every nutter of fear seemed
to increase the supernatural power that bore her on, while
from her pale lips burst forth, in frequent ejaculations, the
prayer to a Friend above — •" Lord, help ! Lord, save me! '
If it were your Harry, mother, or your Willie, that were
going to be torn from you by a brutal trader, to-morrow morn-
ing, — if you had seen the man, and heard that the papers
were signed and delivered, and you had only from twelve
o'clock till morning to make good your escape, — how fast could
you walk ? How many miles could you make in those few
brief hours, with the darling at your bosom, — the little sleepy
head on your shoulder, — the small, soft arms trustingly
holding on to your neck ?
For the child slept. At first, the novelty and alarm kept
him w T aking; but his mother so hurriedly repressed every
breath or sound, and so assured him that if he were only
still she w T ould certainly save him, that he clung quietly round
her neck, only asking, as he found himself sinking to sleep ,
" Mother, I don't need to keep awake, do I? "
"No, my darling; sleep, if you want to."
"But, mother, if I do get asleep, you won't let him get
"No! so may God help me!" said ^his mother, with a
paler cheek, and a brighter light in her large dark eyes.
" You 're sure, an't you, mother? "
"Yes, sure!" said the mother, in a voice that startled
herself; for it seemed to her to come from a spirit within, that
was no part of her ; and the . boy dropped his little weary
head on her shoulder, and was soon asleep. How .the touch of
those warm arms, the gentle breathings that came in her neck.
LIVE AMOSG itf*S LOWLY. . 81
seemed to add fire and spirit to her movements ! It seemed
to her as if strength poured into her in electric streams, from
every gentle touch and movement of the sleeping, .confiding
child. Sublime is the dominion of the mind over the body,
that, for a time, can make flesh and nerve impregnable, and
string the sinews like steel, so that the weak become so mighty.
The boundaries of the farm, the grove, the wood-lot. passed
by her dizzily, as she walked on ; and still she went, leaving
one familiar object after another, slacking not, pausing not,
till reddening daylight found her many a long mile from all
traces of any familiar objects upon the open highway.
She had often been, with her mistress, to visit some connec-
tions, in the little village of T , not far from the Ohio
river, and knew the road well. To go thither, to escape
across the Ohio river, were the first hurried outlines of her
plan of escape ; beyond that, she could only hope in God.
When horses and vehicles began to move along the high-
way, with that alert perception peculiar to a state of excite-
ment, and which seems to be a sort of inspiration, she became
aware that her headlong pace and distracted air might bring on
her remark and suspicion. She therefore put the boy on the
ground, and, adjusting her dress and bonnet, she walked on at as
rapid a pace as she thought consistent with the preservation
of appearances. In her little bundle she had provided a store
of cakes and apples, which she used as expedients for quick-
ening the speed of the child, rolling the apple some yards
before them, when the boy would run with all his might after
it ; and this ruse, often repeated, carried them over many a
After a while, they came to a thick patch of woodland,
through which murmured a clear brook. As the child com-
plained of hunger and thirst, she climbed over the fence with
82 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : flit,
him ; and, sitting down behind a large rock which concealed
them from the road, she gave him a breakfast out of her little
package. The boy wondered and grieved that she could not
eat ; and when, putting his arms round her neck, he tried to
wedge some of his cake into her mouth, it seemed to her that
the rising in her throat would choke her.
" No, no, Harry darling ! mother can't eat till you are
safe ! We must go on — on ■ — till we come to the river ! "
And she hurried again into the road, and again constrained
Herself to walk regularly and composedly forward.
She was many miles past any neighborhood where she was
personally known. If she should chance to meet any
who knew her, she reflected that the well-known kindness of
the family would be of itself a blind to suspicion, as making
it an unlikely supposition that she could be a fugitive. As
she was also so white as not to be known as of colored lineage,
without a critical survey, and her child was white also, it was
much easier for her to pass on unsuspected.
On this presumption, she stopped ai noon at a neat farm-
house, to rest herself, and buy some dinner for her child and
self; for, as the danger decreased with the distance, the
supernatural tension of the nervous system lessened, and she
found herself both weary and hungry.
The good woman, kindly and gossipping, seemed rather
pleased than otherwise with having somebody come in to talk
with ; and accepted, without examination, Eliza's statement,
that she " was going on a little piece, to spend a week with
her friends," — all which she hoped in her heart might
prove strictly true.
An hour before sunset, she entered the village of T ,
by the Ohio river, weary and foot-sore, but still strong in
heart. Her first glance was at the river, which lay, like
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 83
Jordan, between her and the Canaan of liberty on the other
It was now early spring, and the river was swollen and
turbulent ; great cakes of floating ice were swinging heavily
to and fro in the turbid waters. Owing to the peculiar for.ni
of the shore on the Kentucky side, the land bending
far out into the water, the ice had been lodged and detained
in great quantities, and the narrow channel which swept
round the bend was full of ice, piled one cake over another,
thus forming a temporary barrier to the descending ice,
which lodged, and formed a great, undulating raft, filling up
the whole river, and extending almost to the Kentucky shore.
Eliza stood, for a moment, contemplating this unfavorable v
aspect of tilings, which she saw at once must prevent the usual
ferry-boat from running, and then turned into a small public
house on the bank, to make a few inquiries.
The hostess, who was busy in various fizzing and stewing
operations over the fire, preparatory to the evening meal,
stopped, with a fork in her hand, as Eliza's sweet and plain-
tive voice arrested her.
" What is it?" she said.
"Isn't there any ferry or boat, that takes people over to
B , now? " she said.
" No, indeed ! " said the woman ; " the boats has stopped
Eliza's look of dismay and disappointment struck the woman,
and she said, inquiringly,
" May be you 're wanting to get over? — anybody sick?
Ye seem mighty anxious? "
" I 've got a child that 's very dangerous," said Eliza. " I
never heard of it till last night, and I 've walked quite a piece
to-day, in hopes to get to the ferry."
84 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
"Well, now, that's onlucky," said the woman, whose
motherly sympathies were much aroused; " I 'm re'lly con-,
sained for ye. Solomon!" she called, from the window,
towards a small back building. A man, in leather apron and
very dirty hands, appeared at the door.
"I say, Sol," said the woman, " is that ar man going to
tote them bar'ls over to-night? "
" He said he should try, if 't was any way prudent," said
"There's a man a piece down here, that's going over
with some truck this evening, if he durs'to ; he '11 be in here to
supper to-night, so you 'd better set down and wait. That 's
a sweet little fellow," added the woman, offering him a cake.
But the child, wholly exhausted, cried with weariness.
" Poor fellow ! he is n't used to walking, and I 've hurried
him on so," said Eliza.
" Well, take him into this room," said the woman, opening
into a small bed-room, where stood a comfortable bed. Eliza
laid the weary boy upon it, and held his hands in hers till he
was fast asleep. For her there was no rest. As a fire in
her bones, the thought of the pursuer urged her on ; and she
gazed with longing eyes on the sullen, surging waters that
lay between her and liberty.
Here we must take our leave of her for the present, to
follow the course of her pursuers.
Though Mrs. Shelby had promised that the dinner should
be hurried on table, yet it was soon seen, as the thing
has often been seen before, that it required more than one to
make a bargain. So, although the order was fairly given
out in Haley's hearing, and carried to Aunt Chloe by at
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 86
least half a dozen juvenile messengers, that dignitary only
gave certain very gruff snorts, and tosses of her head, and
went on with every operation in an unusually leisurely and
For some singular reason, an impression seemed to reign
among the servants generally that Missis would not be partic-
ularly disobliged by delay ; and it was wonderful what a num-
ber of counter accidents occurred constantly, to retard the
course of things. One luckless wight contrived to upset the
gravy ; and then gravy had to be got up de novo, with due
care and formality, Aunt Chloe watching and stirring with
dogged precision, answering shortly, to all suggestions of
haste, that she "warn't agoing to have raw gravy on the
table, to help nobody's catchings." One tumbled down with
the water, anl had to go to the spring for more ; and another
precipitated the butter into the path of events ; and there was
from time to time giggling news brought into the kitchen that
11 Mas'r Haley was mighty oneasy, and that he couldn't sit
in his cheer no ways, but was a walkin' and stalkin' to the
winders and through the porch."
" Sarves him right!" said Aunt Chloe, indignantly.
"He'll get wus nor oneasy, one of these days, if he don't
mend his ways. His master '11 be sending for him, and then
see how he '11 look ! "
" He '11 go to torment, and no mistake," said little Jake.
" He desarves it ! " said Aunt Chloe, grimly ; ''he 's broke
a many, many, many hearts, — I tell ye all ! " she said;
stopping, with a fork uplifted in her hands ; " it 's like what
Mas'r George reads in Ravelations, — souls a callin' under
the altar ! and a callin' on the Lord for vengeance on sich ! —
and by and by the Lord he '11 hear 'em — so he will ! "
Aunt Chloe, who was much revered in the kitchen, was
$6 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
listened to with open mouth ; and, the dinner being now fairly
sent in, the whole kitchen was at leisure to gossip with her,
an$ to listen to her remarks.
* l Sich '11 be burnt up forever, and no mistake ; won't
tiler?" said Andy.
" I M be glad to see it, I '11 be boun'," said little Jake.
" Chil'en ! " said a voice, that made them all start. It was
Uncle Tom, who had come in, and stood listening to the con-
versation at the door.
" Chil'en ! " he said, "I'm afeard you don't know what
ye 're sayin'. Forever is a dregful word, chil'en; it's awful
to think on 't. You oughtenter wish that ar to any human
"We wouldn't to anybody but the soul-drivers," said
Andy; "nobody can help wishing it to them, they 's so awful
" Don't natur herself kinder cry out on em? " said Aunt
Chloe. " Don't dey tear der suckin' baby right off his
mother's breast, and sell him, and der little children as is
crying and holding on by her clothes, — don't dey pull 'em off
and sells em? Don't dey tear wife and husband apart?"
said Aunt Chloe, beginning to cry, "when it's jest takin'
the very life on 'em? — and all the while does they feel one
bit, — don't dey drink and smoke, and take it oncommon
easy? Lor, if the devil don't get them, what 's he good for?"
And Aunt Chloe covered her face with her checked apron,
and began to sob in good earnest.
" Pray for them that 'spitefully use you, the good book
says," says Tom.
" Pray for 'em!" said Aunt Chloe ; " Lor, it 's too tougli !
I can't pray for 'em."
"It's natur, Chloe, and natur 's strong," said Tom, " b
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 87
the Lord's grace is stronger ; besides, you oughter think what
an awful state a poor crittur's soul 's in that '11 do them ar
things, — you oughter thank God that you an't like him,
Chloe. I 'm sure I 'd rather be sold, ten thousand time%
over, than to have all that ar poor crittur 's got to answer
"So 'd I, a heap," said Jake. "Lor, should nH we cotck
Andy shrugged his shoulders, and gave an acquiescent
"I'm glad Mas'r didn't go off this morning, as he looked
to," said Tom ; " that ar hurt me more than sellin', it
did. Mebbe it might have been natural for him, but
'twould have come desp't hard on me, as has known him from
a baby; but I've seen Mas'r, and I begin ter feel sort o'
reconciled to the Lord's will now. Mas'r could n't help his-
self ; he did right, but I 'm feared things will be kinder goin'
to rack, when I 'm gone. Mas'r can't be spected to be a
pryin' round every whar, as I 've done, a keepin' up all the
ends. The boys all means well, but they 's powerful car'less.
That ar troubles me."
The bell here rang, and Tom was summoned to the
"Tom," said his master, kindly, "I want you to notice
that I give this gentleman bonds to forfeit a thousand dollars
if you are not on the spot when he wants you ; he 's going
to-day to look after his other business, and you can have the
day to yourself. Go anywhere you like, boy."
" Thank you, Mas'r," said Tom.
"And mind yerself," said the trader, "and don't come it
over your master with any o' yer nigger tricks; for I '11 take
88 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
every cent out of him, if you^an't thar. If he 'd hear to mCj
he would n't trust any on ye — slippery 'as eels ! "
" Mas'r," said Tom, — and he stood very straight, — " I
^was jist eight years old when ole Missis %ut you into my
arms, and you was n't a year old. ' Thar,' says she, ' Tom,
that's to be your young Mas'r; take good care on him,' says
she. And now I jist ask you, Mas'r, have I ever broke
word to you, or gone contrary to you, 'specially since I was a
Mr. Shelby was fairly overcome, and the tears rose to his
"My good boy," said he, "the Lord knows you say but
the truth ; and if I was able to help it, all the world shouldn't
" And sure as I am a Christian woman," said Mrs. Shelby,
1 you shall be redeemed as soon as I can any way bring
together means. Sir," she said to Haley, "take good
account of who you sell him to, and let me know."
"Lor, yes, for that matter," said the trader, "I may bring
him up in a year, not much the*wuss for wear, and trade him
" I '11 trade with you then, and make it for your advan-
tage," said Mrs. Shelby.
" " Of course," said the trader, " all 's equal with me ; li'ves
trade 'em up as down, so I does a good business. All I want
is a livin', you know, ma'am; that 's all any on us wants, I
Mr. and Mrs. Shelby both felt annoyed and degraded by
the familiar impudence of the trader, and yet both saw the
absolute necessity of putting a constraint on their feelings.
The more hopelessly sordid and insensible he appeared, the
greater became Mrs. Shelby's dread of his safceeding in
m THE LOWLY. 89
recapturing Eliza and her child, and of course the greater her
motive for detaining hinr by every female artifice. She
therefore graciously smiled, assented, chatted familiarly, and
did all she could to make time pass imperceptibly.
At two o'clock Sam and Andy brought the horses up to
the posts, apparently greatly refreshed and invigorated by the
scamper of the morning.
6am was there new oiled from dinner, with an abundance
f zealous and ready officiousness. As Haley approached, he
was boasting, in flourishing style, to Andy, of the evident and
eminent success ofjfthe operation, now that he had " farly
come to it." w
"Your master, I s'pose, don't keep no dogs," said Haley,
thoughtfully, as he prepared to mount.
"Heaps on 'em," said Sam, triumphantly; "thar's
Bruno — he 's a roarer ! and, besides that, 'bout every nigger
of us keeps a pup of some natur or uther."
"Poh!" said Haley, — and he said something else, too,
with regard to the said dogs, at whiclFSam muttered,
" I don't see no use jjjfessin' on 'em, no way."
" But your master don't keep no dogs (I pretty much
know he don't) for trackin' out niggers."
Sam knew exactly what he mmnt, but he kept on a look
of earnest and desperate simplicity.
" Our dogs all smells rouncWonsidable sharp. I spect
they's the kind, ftiough they han't never had no practice.
They 's far dogs, though, at most anything, if you 'd get
'em started. Here, Bruno," he called, whistling to the lum-
bering Newfoundland, who came pitching tumultuously
" You go hang! " said Haley, getting up. " Come, tumble
^ % 8*
90 UNCLE TOM'S ^ABIN : OR,
Sam tumbled up accordingly-, dexterously contriving to
tickle Andy as lie did so, which ^casioned Andy to split out
into a laugh, greatly to Haley's indignation, who made a cut
at him with his riding- whip. ^
" I 's 'stonished at yer, Andy," said Sam, with awful grav-
ity. " This yer 's a seris bisness, Andy. Yer must n't be a
makin' game. This yer an't no way to help Mas'r."
™" I shall take the straight road to the river," said Ha
decidedly, after they had come to the boundaries .of the esta
u I know the way of all of 'em, — they makes tracks for the
un d er ground. ' ' V
" Sartin," said Sam, "dat's de idee% Mas'r Haley hits
de thing right in de middle. Now, der 's two roads to de
river, — de dirt road and der pike, — which Mas'r mean to
Andy looked up innocently at Sam, surprised at hearing
this new geographical fact, but instantly confirmed what lie
said, by a vehement reiteration. \
"Cause," said San^"I'd rather be 'clined to 'magine
that Lizy 'd take de dirt road, bein%t 's the least travelled."
Haley, notwithstanding that he was a" very old bird, and
naturally inclined to be suspicious of chaif, was rather brought
up by this view of the caj^
" If yer warn' t both on yer such cussed liars, now!" he
said, contemplatively, as W pondered a moment.
The pensive, reflective tone in which this was spoken
appeared to amuse Andy prodigiously, and he drew a little
behind, and shook so as apparently to run a great risk of
falling off his hbrse, while Sam's face was immovably com-
posed into the most doleful gravity.
^Course," said Sam, "Mas'r can do as he'd ruther; go
ie straight road, if Mas'r thinks best, — it 's all one to us.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 91
Now, when I study 'pon it, I think de straight road de brat,
" She would naturally go a lonesome way," said Haley,
thinking aloud, and not minding Sam's remark.
"Dar an't no say in'," said Sam; "gals is pecular ; they
never does nothin' ye thinks they will ; mose gen'lly the con-
trar. Gals is nat'lly made contrary ; and so, if you thinks
they 've gone one road, it is sartin you 'd better go t' other,
and then you '11 be sure to find 'em. Now, my private 'pin-
ion is, Lizy took der dirt road ; so I think we 'd better take
de straight one."
This profound generic view of the female sex did not seem
to dispose Haley particularly to the straight road ; and he
announced decidedly that he should go the other/ and asked-
Sam when they should come to it.
" i\Jittle piece ahead," said Sam, giving a wink to Andy
with the eye which w#s on Andy's side of the head ; and he
added Jgravely, "but I've studded on de maper, and I'm
quite clar we ought not to go dal^P way. I nebber been
over it no way. It 's despit lonesome, and we might lose our
vay, — whar we '<i come to, de Lord only knows."
evertheless," said Haley, " I shall go that way."
w I think on 't, I think I hearn 'em tell that dat ar
s all fenced up and down by der treek, and thai, an't
Andy was n't certain ; he 'd only " hearn tell " about that
road, but never been over it. In short, he was strictly non-
Py, accustomed to strike the balance of probabilities
bW^n lies of greater or lesser magnitude, thought that it
lay in favor of the dirt road aforesaid. The mention of the
ajjhing he thought he perceived was involuntary on Sam's part
92 UNCLE tom's cabin : OR,
a^first, and his confused attempts to dissuade* him he set
down to a desperate lying on second thoughts, as being unwil-
ling to implicate Eliza.
When, therefore, Sam indicated the road. Haley plunged
briskly into it, followed by Sam and Andy.
Now. the road, in fact, was an old one. that had formerly
been a thoroughfare to the river, but abandoned for many
years after the laying of the new pike. It was open for a&out
an hour's ride, and after that it was cut across by various
farms and fences. Sam knew this fact perfectly well, —
indeed, the road had been so long closed up, that Andy had
never heard of it. He therefore rode along with an air of
dutiful submission, only groaning and vociferating occasionally
that 'twas " desp't rough, and bad for Jerry's foot."
"Now, I jest give yer warning," said Haley, "I know
yer ; yer won't get me to turn off this yer road, with all yer
fussin' — so you shet up ! " m
11 Mas'r will go his own way ! " said Sam, with rueful sub-
mission, at the same time winking most portentously to Andy,
whose delight was now very near the explosive point.
Sam was in wonderful spirits, — professed to keep a very
brisk look-out, — at one time exclaiming that he saw " a gal's
bonnet " on the top of some distant eminence, or calling to
Andy "if that thar wasn't 'Lizy' down in the hollow;'
always making these exclamations in some rough or craggy
part of the road, where the sudden quickening of speed was W
special inconvenience to all parties concerned, and thus keep-
ing Haley in a state of constant commotion. ^k
After riding about an hour in this way, the whoWfcarty
made a precipitate and tumultuous descent into a barn-yard
belonging to a large farming establishment. Not a soul was
In sight, all the hands being employed in the fields ; but, a^
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 93
the barn staod conspicuously and plainly square across the
road, it was evident that their journey in that direction had
reached a decided finale.
" Wan't dat ar what I telled Mas'r?" said Sain, with an
air of injured innocence. "How does strange gentleman
spect to know more about a country dan de natives born and
" You rascal!" said Haley, " you knew all about this."
" Did n't I tell ycr I know'd, and yer would n't believe
me? I telled Mas'r 't was all shet up, and fenced up, and I
did n't spect we could get through, — Andy heard me."
It was all too true to be disputed, and the unlucky man
had to pocket his wrath with the best grace he was able, and
all three faced to the right about, and took up their line of
march for the highway.
In consequence of all the various delays, it was about
three-quarters of an hour after Eliza had laid her child to
sleep in the village tavern that the party came riding into
the same place. Eliza was standing by the window, looking
out in another direction, when Sam's quick eye caught a
glimpse of her. Haley and Andy were two yards behind.
At this crisis, Sam contrived to have his hat blown off, and
uttered a loud and characteristic ejaculation, which startled
her at once ; she drew suddenly back ; the whole train swept
by the window, round to the front door.
A thousand lives seemed to be concentrated in that -one
moment to Eliza. Her room opened by a side door to the
river. She caught her child, and sprang down the steps
towards it. The trader caught a full glimpse of her, just as
she was disappearing down the bank ; and throwing himself
from his horse, and calling loudly on Sam and Andy, he was
after her like a hound after a deer. In that dizzy moment
94 UffCLB TOM'S CABIN: OR,
her feet to her scarfce seemed to touch the ground, and a
moment brought her to the water's edge. Right on behind
they came; and, nerved with strength such as God gives
only to the desperate, with one wild cry and flying leap, she
vaulted sheer over the turbid current by the shore, on to the
raft of ice beyond. It was a desperate leap — impossible to
anything but madness and despair; and Haley, Sam, and
Andy, instinctively cried out, and lifted up their hands, as
she did it.
The huge green fragment of ice on which she alighted
pitched and creaked as her weight came on it, but she staid
there not a moment. With wild cries and desperate energy
she leaped to another and still another cake ; — stumbling —
leaping — slipping — springing upwards again ! Her shoes
are gone — her stockings cut from her feet — while blood
marked every step; but she saw nothing, felt nothing, till
dimly, as in a dream, she saw the Ohio side, and a man help-
ing her up the bank.
" Yer a brave gal, now, whoever ye ar ! " said the man,
with an oath.
Eliza recognized the voice and face of a man who owned a
farm not far from her old home.
" 0, Mr. Symmes ! — save me — do save me — do hide
me ! " said Eliza.
"Why, what's this?" said the man. "Why, if Han't
Shelby's gal! »
" My child ! — this boy .! — he 'd sold him ! There is his
Mas'r," said she, pointing to the Kentucky shore. "0,
Mr. Symmes, you 've got a little boy ! "
" So I have," said the man, as he roughly, but kindly,
drew her up the steep bank. " Besides, you 're a right bravo
a;al. I like grit, wherever I see it."
LIFE AMONG THIS LOWLY. 95
When they had gained the top <J§ the bank, the man
"I'd be glad to do something for ye," said he; "but
then there 's nowhar I could take ye. The best I can do is
to tell ye to go thar" said he, pointing to a large white
house which stood by itself, off the main street of the village.
"Go thar; they're kind folks. Thar 's no kind o' danger
but they '11 help you, — they 're up to all that sort o ; thing."
" The Lord bless you ! " said Eliza, earnestly.
" No 'casion, no* 'casion in the world," said the man.
" What 1 've done 's of no 'count."
" And, oh, surely, sir, you won't tell any one ! "
"Go to thunder, gal! What do you take a feller for?
In course not," said the man. " Come, now, go along like a
likely, sensible gal, as you are. You 've arnt your liberty,
and you shall have it, for all me." ^m
The woman folded her child to her bosom, and walked
firmly and swiftly away. The man stood and looked after her.
" Shelby, now, mebbe won't think this yer thFmost neigh-
borly thing in the world ; but what 's a feller to do ? If he
catches one of my gals in the same fix, he 's welcome to pay
back. Somehow I never could see no kind o' critter a strivin'
and pantin', and trying to clar theirselves, with the dogs arter
'em, and go agin 'em. Besides, I don't see no kind of
'casion for me to be hunter and catcher for other folks,
So spoke this poor, heathenish Kentuckian, who had not
been instructed in his constitutional relations, and conse-
quently was betrayed into acting in a sort of Christianized
manner, which, if he had been better situated and more
enlightened, he would not have been left to do.
Haley had stood a perfectly amazed spectator of the scene.
% UNCLE TOxM'S (JAJbLN : OJR,
till Eliza had disappeared up the bank, when he turned a
clank, inquiring look on Sam and Andy.
" That ar was a tolable fair stroke of business," said Sam.
"The gal's got seven devils in her, I believe!" said
Haley. " How like a wildcat she jumped ! "
"Wal, now," said Sam, scratching his head, "I hope
Mas'r '11 'scuse us try in' dat ar road. Don't think I feel
spry enough for dat ar, no way! " and Sam gave a hoarse
" You laugh ! " said the trader, with a growl.
"Lord bless you, Mas'r, I couldn't help it, now," said
Sam, giving way to the long pent-up delight of his soul.
tl She looked so curi's, a leapin' and springin' — ice a crackin'
— and only to hear her, — plump! ker chunk! ker splash!
Spring! Lord! how she goes it!" and Sam and Andy
laughed till the tears rolled down their cheeks.
"I'll make ye laugh t'other side yer mouths ! " said the
trader, laying about their heads with his riding-whip.
Both ducfed, and ran shouting up the bank, and were on
their horses before he was up.
"Good-evening, Mas'r!" said Sam, with much gravity.
"I berry much spect Missis be anxious 'bout Jerry. Mas'r
Haley won't want us no longer. Missis would n't hear of our
ridin' the critters over Lizy's bridge to-night; " and, with a
facetious poke into Andy's ribs, he started off, followed by the
latjer, at full speed, — their shouts of laughter coming faintly
on the wind.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 07
Eliza made her desperate retreat across the river just in
the dusk of twilight. The gray mist of evening, rising slowly
from the river, enveloped her as she disappeared up the bank,
and the swollen current and floundering masses of ice pre-
sented a* hopeless barrier between her and her pursuer.
Haley therefore slowly and discontentedly returned to the
little tavern, to ponder further what was to be done. The
woman opened to him the door of a little parlor, covered with
a rag carpet, where stood a table with a very shining black
oil-cloth, sundry lank, high-backed wood chairs, with some
plaster images in resplendent colors on the mantel-shelf,
above a very dimly^-smoking grate ; a long hard- wood settle
extended its uneasy length by the chimney, and here
Haley sat him down to meditate on the instability of human
hopes and happiness in general.
" What did I want with the little cuss, now," he said to
himself, u that I should have got myself treed like a coon, as
I am, this yer way 7 " and Haley relieved himself by repeat-
ing over a not very select litany of imprecations on himself,
which, though there was the best possible reason to consider
them as true, we shall, as a matter of taste, omit.
He was startled by the loud and dissonant voice of a man
who was apparently dismounting at the door. He hurried to
" By the land ! if this yer an't the nearest, now, to what
9$ UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
I've heard folks call Providence," said Haley. "I do
b'lieve that ar *s Tom Loker."
I Tale j hastened out. Standing by the bar, in the corner
of the room, was a brawny, muscular man, full six feet in
3 3ight, and broad in proportion. He was dressed in a coat
>f buffalo-skin, made with the hair outward, which gave
him a shaggy and fierce appearance, perfectly in keeping
with the whole air of his physiognomy. In the head and
face every organ and lineament expressive of brutal and
unhesitating violence was in a state of the highest possible
development. Indeed, could our readers fancy a bull-dog
come unto man's estate, and walking about in a hat and coat,
they would have no unapt idea of the general style and effect
of his physique. He was accompanied by a travelling com-
panion, in many respects an exact contrast to himself. He
wite'short and slender, lithe and cat-like in his motions, and
had a peering, mousing expression about his keen black eyes,
with which every feature of his face seemed sharpened into
sympathy ; his thin, long nose, ran out as if it was eager to
bore into the nature of things in general ; his sleek, thin,
black hair was stuck eagerly forward, and all his motions and
evolutions expressed a dry, cautious acuteness. The great
big man poured out a big tumbler half full of raw spirits, and
gulped it down without a word. The little man stood tip-toe,
and putting his head first to one side and then to the other,
rinuffing considerately in the directions of the various
littles, ordered at last a mint julep, in a thin and quivering
voice, and with an air of great circumspection. When poured
out, lie took it and looked at it with a sharp, complacent air,
like a man who thinks he has done about the right thing, and
hit the nail on the head, and proceeded to dispose of it in
short and well-advised sips.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 90
" Wal. now, who 'd a thought this yer luck 'ad cotdo to me ?-
Why, Loker, how are ye? " said Haley, coming forward, and
extending his hand to the big man.
"The devil!" was the civil reply. "What brought
here, Haley? "
The mousing man, who bore the name of Marks, inst:
stopped his sipping, and, poking^his head forward, loo]
shrewdly on the new acquaintance, as a cat sometimes looks
at a moving dry leaf, or some other possible object of pursuit.
"I say, Tom, this yer 's the luckiest thing in the world.
I 'm in a^fcvil of a hobble, and you must help me out."
"Ugh? aw! like enough!" grunted his complacent ac-
quaintance. "A body may be pretty sure of that, when
you Ve glad to see 'em ; something to be made off of 'em.
What's the blow now?"
" You've got a friend here?" said Haley, looking doubt-
fully at Marks ; " partner, perhaps ? "
" Yes, I have. Here, Marks ! here 's that ar feller that I
was in with in Natchez."
" Shall be pleased with his acquaintance," said Marks,
thrusting out a long, thin hand, like a raven's claw. "Mr.
Haley, I believe? "
"The same, sir," said Haley. "And now, gentlemen,
seein' as we 've met so happily, I think I '11 stand up to a
small matter of a treat in this here parlor. So. now, old
coon," said he to the man at the bar, " get us hot water
sugar, and cigars, and plenty of the real stuff, and
have a blow-out."
Behold, then, the candles lighted, the fire stimulated to the
burning point in the grate, and our three worthies seal
round a table, well spread with all the accessories to good
fellowship enumerated before.
100 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
Haley began a pathetic recital of his peculiar troubles.
Loker shut up his mouth, and listened to him with gruff and
surly attention. Marks, who was anxiously and- with much
fidgeting compounding a tumbler of punch to his own peculiar
taste, occasionally looked up from his employment, and,
pokii g his sharp nose and chin almost into Haley's face, gave
the most earnest heed to ihe whole narrative. The conclusion
of it appeared to amuse him extremely, for he shook his
shoulders and sides in silence, and perked up his thin lips
with an air of great internal enjoyment.
" So, then, ye 'r fairly sewed up, an't ye? " he •id ; " he !
he! he! It's neatly done, too."
u This yer young-un business makes lots of trouble in the
trade," said Haley, dolefully.
" If we could get a breed of gals that did n't care, now, for
their young uns," said Marks ; " tell ye, I think 'twould be
'bout the greatest mod' rn improvement I knows on," — and
Marks patronized his joke by a quiet introductory sniggle.
"Jos so," said Haley; "I never couldn't see into it;
young uns is heaps of trouble to 'em; one would think, now,
they 'd be glad to get clar on 'em ; but they arn't. And the
more trouble a young un is, and the more good for nothing,
as a gen'l thing, the tighter they sticks to 'em."
" Wal, Mr. Haley," said Marks, "jest pass the hot water.
Yes, sir; you say jest what I feel and all' us have. Now, I
bought a gal once, when I was in the trade, — a tight, likely
wench she was, too, and quite considerable smart, — and she
had a young un that was mis' able sickly ; it had a crooked
back, or something or other; and I jest gin 't away to a man
that thought he 'd take his chance raising on 't, being it
didn't cost nothin' • —never thought, yer know, of the gal's
takin' on about it, — but, Lord, yer oughter seen how she
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY.
went on. Why, re'lly, she did seem to me to valley the child
more 'cause Hwas sickly and cross, and plagued her; and
she warn't making b'lieve, neither, — cried about it, she did,
and lopped round, as if she'd lost every friend she had. It
re'lly was droll to think on 't. '►Lord, there an't no end to
" Wal, jest so with me," saic^Haley. " Last summer,
down on Red river, I got a gal traded off on me, with a likely
lookin' child enough, and his eyes looked as bright as yourn ;
but, come to look, I found him stone blind. Fact — he was
stone blitfd. Wal, ye see, I thought there warn't no harm in
my jest passing him along, and not sayin' nothin' ; and I 'd
got him nicely swapped off for a keg o' whiskey ; but come
to get him away from the gal, she was jest like a tiger. So
'twas before we started, and I had n't got my gang chained
up ; so what should she do but ups on a cotton-bale, like it
cat, ketches a knife from one of the deck hands, and, T tell
ye, she made all fly for a minit, till she saw 'twan't no
use ; and she jest turns round, and pitches head first, young
un and all, into the river, — went down plump, and never
" Bah ! " said Tom Loker, who had listened to these stories
with ill-repressed disgust, — " shif'less, both on ye! my
gals don't cut up no such shines, I tell ye ! "
" Indeed ! how do you help it? " said Marks, briskly.
" Help it? why, I buys a gal, and if she 's got a young
un to be sold, I jest walks up and puts my fist to her
face, and says, ' Look here, now, if you give me one word
out of your head, I '11 smash yer face in. I won't hear one
word — not the beginning of a word.' I says to 'em. ' r l
yer young un 's mine, and not yourn, and you 've no kind o'
business with it. I 'm going to sell it, first chance ; mind,
1G2 I Al UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
you don't cut up none o' yer shines about it, or I '11 make ye
wish ye 'd never been born.' I tell ye, they sees it an't no
play, when I gets hold. I makes 'em as whist as fishes ; and
if one on 'em begins and gives a yelp, why, — " and Mr. Loker
brought down his fist with a thump that fully explained the
"That ar's what ye jpay call emphasis" said Marks
poking Haley in the side, and going into another small
giggle. " An't Tom peculiar? he ! he ! he ! I say, Tom, I
s'pect you make 'em understand, for all niggers' heads is
woolly. They don't never have no doubt o' your meaning,
Tom. If you an't the devil, Tom, you 's his twin brother,
I '11 say that for ye ! "
. Tom ' yeceived the compliment with becoming modesty, and
began to look as affable as was consistent, as John Bunyan
says, u with his doggish nature."
Haley, who had been imbibing very freely of the staple of
the evening, began to feel a sensible elevation and enlarge-
ment of his moral faculties, — a phenomenon not unusual
with gerrtlemen of a serious and reflective turn, under similar
" Wal, now. Tom," he said, " ye re'lly is too bad, as I
al'ays have told ye ; ye know, Tom, you and I used to talk
over these yer matters down in Natchez, and I used to prove
to ye that we made full as much, and was as well off for this
yer world, by treatin' on 'em well, besides keepin' a better
chance for comin' in the kingdom at last, when wust comes to
wust, and thar an't nothing else left to get, ye know."
" Boh ! " said Tom, " don't I know? — don't make me too
sick with any yer stuff, — my stomach is a leetle riled now ; "
and Tom drank half a glass of raw brandy.
"I Bay," said Haley, and leaning back in his chair and
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 103
gesturing impressively, " I '11 say this now, T al'ays meant to
drive my trade so as to make money on 't, fust and foremost.
as much as any man ; but, then, trade an't everything, and
money an't everything, 'cause we 's all got souls. I don't
care, now, who hears me say it, — and I think a cussed sight
on it, — so I may as well come out with it. I b'lieve in religion,
and one of these days, when I 've got matters tight and snug,
I calculates to tend to my soul and them ar matters ; and so
what 's the use of doin' any more wickedness than 's re'lly
necessary? — it don't seem to me it 's 'tall prudent."
"Tend to yer soul!" repeated Tom, contemptuously;
" take a bright look-out to find a soul in you, — save yourself
any care on that score. If the devil sifts you through a hair
sieve, he won't find one."
" Why, Tom, you 're cross," said Haley; " why can 't ye
take it pleasant, now, when a feller 's talking for your good? "
" Stop that ar jaw o' yourn, there," said Tom, gruffly.
" I can stand most any talk o' yourn but your pious talk, — >
that kill^iie right up. After all, what 's the odds between
me and ^i ? 'Tan't that you care one bit more, or have a bit
more feelin', — it's clean, sheer, dog meanness, wanting tc
cheat the devil and save your own skin; don't I see through
it? And your ' gettin' religion,' as you call it, arter all, is
too p'isin mean for any crittur ; — run up a bill with the devil
all your life, and then sneak out when pay time comes !
"Come, come, gentlemen, I say; this isn't business,"
said Marks. " There 's different ways, you know, of looking
at all subjects. Mr. Haley is a very nice man, no doubt, and
has his own conscience ; and, Tom, you have your ways, and
very good ones, too, Tom ; but quarrelling, you know, won't
answer no kind of purpose. Let's go to business. Now,
104 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
Mr. Haley, what is it ? — you want us to undertake to catch
this yer gal? "
" The gal 's no matter of mine, — she 's Shelby's ; it 's cnly
the boy. I was a fool for buying the monkey ! "
" You're generally a fool ! " said Tom, gruffly.
" Come, now, Loker, none of your huffs," said Marks,
licking his lips ; " you see, Mr. Haley 's a puttin' us in a way
of a good job, I reckon ; just hold still, — these yer arrange-
ments is my forte. This yer gal, Mr. Haley, how is she ?
what is she?"
" Wal ! white and handsome — well brought up. I 'd
a gin Shelby eight hundred or a thousand, and then made
well on her."
" White and handsome — well brought up ! " said Marks, his
sharp eyes, nose and mouth, all alive with enterprise. " Look
here, now, Loker, a beautiful opening. We '11 do a business
here on our own account ; — we does the catchin' ; the boy, of
course, goes to Mr. Haley, — we takes the gal to Orleans to
speculate on. An' t it beautiful ? " J^
Tom, whose great heavy mouth had stood ajar crc&ing this
communication, now suddenly snapped it together, as a big
dog closes on a piece of meat, and seemed to be digesting the
idea at his leisure.
u Ye see," said Marks to Haley, stirring his punch as he
did so, " ye see, we has justices convenient at all p'ints along
shore, that does up any little jobs in our line quite reasonable.
Tom, he does the knockin' down and that ar ; and I come in
all dressed up — shining boots -5- everything first chop, when
the swearin' 's to be done. You oughter see, now," said
Marks, in a glow of professional pride, " how I can tone it
off. One day, I 'm Mr. Twickem, from New Orleans ; 'nother
day, I 'm just come from my plantation on Pearl river, where
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 105
I works seven hundred niggers ; then, again, I come out a
distant relation of Henry Clay, or some old cock in Kentuck.
Talents is different, you know. Now, Tom 's a roarer when
there 's any thumping or fighting to be done ; but at lying he
an't good, Tom an't, — ye see it don't come natural to him ; but,
Lord, if thar 's a feller in the country that can swear to anything
and everything, and put in all the circumstances and flour-
ishes with a longer face, and carry 't through better 'n I can,
why, I 'd like to see him, that 's all ! I b'lieve my heart, I
could get along and snake through, even if justices were more
particular than they is. Sometimes I rather wish they was
more particular; 't would be a heap more relishin' if they was,
— more fun, yer know.''
Tom Loker, who, as we have made it appear, was a man of
slow thoughts and movements, here interrupted Marks by
bringing his heavy fist down on the. table, so as to make all
ring again. " It'll do!" he said.
" Lord bless ye, Tom, ye needn't break all the glasses! "
said Marks ; " save your fist for time o' need."
" But, gentlemen, an't I to come in for a share of the
profits ? " said Haley.
" An't it enough we catch the boy for ye? " said Loker.
"What do ye want?"
" Wal," said Haley, " if I gives you the job, it's worth
something, — say ten per cent, on the profits, expenses paid."
" Now," said Loker, with a tremendous oath, and striking
the table with his heavy fist, " don't I know you, Dan Haley?
Don't you think to come it over me ! Suppose Marks and I
have taken up the catchin' trade, jest to 'commodate gentle-
men like you, and get nothin' for ourselves ? — Not by a long
chalk ! we '11 have the gal out and out, and you keep quiet,
cr, ye see, we '11 have both, — what 's to hinder ? Han't you
106 ' UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
show'd us the game? It's as free to us as you, I hope. If
you or Shelby wants to chase us, look where the partridges
was last year ; if you find them or us, you're quite welcome."
" 0, wal, certainly, jest let it go at that," said Haley,
alarmed ; "you catch the boy for the job; — you allers did
trade far with me, Tom, and was up to yer word."
" Ye know that," said Tom; "I don't pretend none of
your snivelling ways, but I won't lie in my 'counts with the
devil himself. What I ses I '11 do, I will do, — you know
that, Dan Haley."
" Jes so, jes so, — I said so, Tom," said Haley; "and if
you 'd only promise to have the boy for me in a week, at any
point you '11 name, that 's all I want."
" But it an't all I want, by a long jump," said Tom.
" Ye don't think I did business with you, down in Natchez,
for nothing, Haley ; I 've learned to hold an eel, when I catch
him. You 've got to fork over fifty dollars, flat down, or this
child don't start a peg. I know yer."
"Why, when you have a job in hand that may bring a
clean profit of somewhere about a thousand or sixteen hun-
dred, why, Tom, you're onreasonable," said Haley.
"Yes, and hasn't we business booked for five weeks to
come, — all we can do ? And suppose we leaves all, and goes
to bushwhacking round arter yer young un, and finally does-
n't catch the gal, — and gals allers is the devil to catch, —
what's then? would you pay us a cent — would you? I
think I see you a doin' it — ugh ! No, no ; flap down your
fifty. If we get the job, and it pays, I '11 hand it back ; if
we don't, it's for our trouble, — that 'sfar, an't it, Marks? "
" Certainly, certainly," said Marks, with a conciliatory
tone ; " it 's only a retaining fee, you see, — he ! he ! he ! —
we lawyers, you know. Wal, we must all keep good-natured.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 107
— keep easy, yer know. Tom '11 have the boy for yer, any-
where ye '11 name ; won't ye, Tom ! "
" If I find the young un, I '11 bring him on to Cincinnati,
and leave him at Granny Belcher's, on the landing," said
Marks had got from his pocket a greasy pocket-book, and
taking a long paper from thence, he sat down, and fixing his
keen black eyes on it, began mumbling over its contents :
" Barnes — Shelby County — boy Jim, three hundred dol-
lars for him, dead or alive.
" Edwards — Dick and Lucy — man and wife, six hundred
dollars ; wench Polly and two children — six hundred for her
or her head.
"I'm jest a runnin' over our business, to see if we can
take up this yer handily. Loker," he said, after a pause,
"we must set Adams and Springer on the track of these yer;
they've been booked some time."
" They '11 charge too much," said Tom.
"I '11 manage that ar; they 's young in the business, and
must spect to work cheap," said Marks, as he continued to
read. "Ther's three on 'em easy cases, 'cause all you've
got to do is to shoot 'em, or swear they is shot ; they could n't,
of course, charge much for that. Them other cases," he said,
folding the paper, "will bear puttin' off a spell. So now
let 's come to the particulars. Now, Mr. Haley, you saw
this yer gal when she landed? "
" To be sure, — plain as I see you."
" And a man helpin' on her up the bank? " said Loker.
" To be sure, I did."
"Most likely," said Marks, "she's took in somewhere
but where, 's a question. Tom, what do you say ? "
"We must cross the river to-night, no mistake," said Tom.
10S UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
" But there 's no boat about," said Marks. "The ice is
running awfully, Tom; an't it dangerous? "
" Don'no nothing 'bout that. — only it's got to be done,"
said Tom, decidedly.
"Dear me," said Marks, fidgeting, "it'll be — I say,"
he said, walking to the window, "it 's dark as a wolf's mouth,
and, Tom — "
" The long and short is, you 're scared, Marks ; but I can't
help that, — you 've got to go, Suppose you want to he by a
day or two, till the gal 's been carried on the underground
line up to Sandusky or so, before you start."
" 0, no; I an't a grain afraid," said Marks, " only — "
"Only what?" said Tom.
" Well, about the boat. Yer see there an't any boat."
" I heard the woman say there was one coming along this
evening, and that a man was going to cross over in it. Neck
or nothing, we must go with him," said Tom.
" I s'pose you 've got good dogs," said Haley.
" First rate," said Marks. "But what's the use ? you
han't got nothin' o' hers to smell on."
"Yes, I have," said Haley, triumphantly. "Here's her
shawl she left on the bed in her hurry ; she left her bonnet,
" That ar 's lucky," said Loker ; " fork over."
" Though the dogs might damage the gal, if they come on
her unawars," said Haley.
"That ar's a consideration," said Marks. "Our dogs
tore a feller half to pieces, once, down in Mobile, 'fore we
could get 'em off."
"Well, ye see, for this sort that's to be sold for their
looks, that ar won't answer, ye see," said Haley.
" I do see," said Marks. " Besides, if she 's got took in,
LIFE AMONG THE LOWL1. 109
'tan't no go, neither. Dogs is no 'count in these yer up states
where these critters gets carried ; of course, ye can't get on
their track. They only does down in plantations, where
niggers, when they runs, has to do their own running, and
don't get no help."
" Well," said Loker, who had just stepped out to the bar
to make some inquiries, "they say the man 's come with the
boat; so, Marks — "
That worthy cast a rueful look at the comfortable quarters
he was leaving, but slowly rose to obey. After exchanging a
few words of further arrangement, Haley, with visible reluc-
tance, handed over the fifty dollars to Tom, and the worthy
trio separated for the night.
If any of our refined and Christian readers object to the
society into which this scene introduces them, let us beg them
to begin and conquer their prejudices in time. The catching
business, we beg to remind them, is rising to the dignity of a
lawful and patriotic profession. If all the broad land between
the Mississippi and the Pacific becomes one great market for
bodies and souls, and human property retains the locomotive
tendencies of this nineteenth century, the trader and catcher
may yet be among our aristocracy.
While this scene was going on at the tavern, Sam and
Andy, in a state of high felicitation, pursued their way home.
Sam was in the highest possible feather, and expressed his
exultation by all sorts of supernatural howls and ejaculations,
by divers odd motions and contortions of his whole system.
Sometimes he would sit backward, with his face to the horse's
tail and s^Jes, and then, with a whoop and a somerset, como
right side up in his place again, and, drawing on a grave face,
110 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
begin to lecture Andy in high-sounding tones for laughing
and playing the fool. Anon, slapping his sides with his arms,
he would burst forth in peals of laughter, that made the old
woods ring as they passed. With all these evolutions, he
contrived to keep the horses up to the top of their speed,
until, between ten and eleven, their heels resounded on the
gravel at the end of the balcony. Mrs. Shelby flew to tho
" Is that you, Sam ? Where are they ? "
"Mas'r Haley's a-restin' at the tavern; he's dreffui
"And Eliza, Sam?"
" Wal, she 's clar 'cross Jordan. As a body may say, in
the land o' Canaan."
"Why, Sam, what do you mean?" said Mrs. Shelby,
breathless, and almost faint, as the possible meaning of these
words came over her.
"Wal, Missis, de Lord he persarves his own. Lizy's
done gone over the river into 'Hio, as 'markablyas if de Lord
took her over in a charrit of fire and two bosses."
Sam's vein of piety was always uncommonly fervent in his
mistress' presence ; and he made great capital of scriptural
figures and images.
" Come up here, Sam," said Mr. Shelby, who had followed
on to the verandah, "and tell your mistress what she wants.
Come, come, Emily," said he, passing his arm round her,
" you are cold and all in a shiver ; you allow yourself to feel
" Feel too much ! Am not I a woman, — a mother? Are
we not both responsible to God for tins poor girl? My God '
lay not this sin to our charge."
LITE AMONG THE LOWLY. Ill
" What sin, Emily? You see yourself that we have only
done what we were obliged to."
" There 's an awful feeling of guilt about it, though," said
Mrs. Shelby. "I can't reason it away."
" Here, Andy, you nigger, be alive ! " called Sam, under
the verandah ; " take these yer hosses to der barn; don't ye
hear Mas'r a callin' ? " and Sam soon appeared, palm-leaf in
hand, at the parlor door.
"Now, Sam, tell us distinctly how the matter was," said
Mr. Shelby. "Where is Eliza, if you know?"
" Wal, Mas'r, I saw her, with my own eyes, a crossin' on
the floatin' ice. She crossed most 'markably ; it was n't no
less nor a miracle ; and I saw a man help her up the 'Hio
side, and then she was lost in the dusk."
"Sam, I think this rather apocryphal, — this miracle.
Crossing on floating ice is n't so easily done," said Mr.
" Easy ! could n't nobody a done it, widout de Lord. Why,
now," said Sam, "'twas jist dis yer way. Mas'r Haley,
and me, and Andy, we comes up to de little tavern by the
river, and I rides a leetle ahead, — (I 's so zealous to be a
cotchin' Lizy, that I could n't hold in, no way), — and when
I comes by the tavern winder, sure enough there she was,
right in plain sight, and dey diggin' on behind. Wal, I loses
off my hat, and sings out nufF to raise the dead. Course Lizy
she hars, and she dodges back, when Mas'r Haley he goes
past the door ; and then, I tell ye, she clared out de side
door; she went down de river bank; — Mas'r Haley he seed
her, and yelled out, and him, and me, and Andy, we took
arter. Down she come to the river, and thar was the cur-
rent running ten feet wide by the shore, and over t' other side
ice a sawin' and a jiggling up and down, kinder as 't were a
112 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OB,
great island. We come right behind her, and I thought my
soul he 'd got her sure enough, — when she gin sich a screech
as I never hearn, and thar she was, clar over t' other side the
current, on the ice, and then on she went, a screeching and a
j ampin', — the ice went crack ! c' wallop ! cracking ! chunk!
and she a boundin' like a buck ! Lord, the spring that ar
gaPs got in her an't common, I 'm o' 'pinion."
Mrs. Shelby sat perfectly silent, pale with excitement,
while Sam told his story.
" Gxl be praised, she is n't dead ! " she said ; " but where
is the px>r child now ? "
" De Lord will pervide," said Sam, rolling up his eyes
piously. " As I 've been a sayin', dis yer's a providence and
no mistake, as Missis has allers been a instructin' on us.
Thar 's allers instruments ris up to do de Lord's will. Now,
if 't had n't been for me to-day, she 'd a been took a dozen
times. Warn't it I started offde hosses, dis yer mornin', and
kept 'em chasin' till nigh dinner time ? And did n't I car
Mas'r Haley nigh five miles out of de road, dis evening, or
else he 'd a come up with Lizy as easy as a dog arter a coon.
These yer 's all providences."
" They are a kind of providences that you '11 have to be
pretty sparing of, Master Sam. I allow no such practices
with gentlemen on my place," said Mr. Shelby, with as
much sternness as he could command, under the circum-
Now, there is no more use in making believe be angry
with a negro than with a child ; both instinctively see the
true state of the case, through all attempts to affect the con-
trary ; and Sam was in no wise disheartened by this rebuke,
though he assumed an air of doleful gravity, and stood with
the corners of his mouth lowered in most penitential style.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 113
" Mas'r 's quite right, — quite ; it was ugly on me, —
there 's no disputin' that ar ; and of course Mas'r and Missis
would n't encourage no such works. I 'm sensible of dat ar ;
but a poor nigger like me 's 'mazin' tempted to act ugly
sometimes, when fellers will cut up such shines as dat ar
Mas'r Haley ; he an't no gen' 1' man no way ; anybody 's been
raised as I 've been can't help a seein' dat ar."
"Well, Sam," said Mrs. Shelby, "as you appear to have
a proper sense of your errors, you may go now and tell
Aunt Chloe she may get you some of that cold ham that was
left of dinner to-day. You and Andy must be hungry."
" Missis is a heap too good for us," said Sam, making his
bow with alacrity, and departing.
It will be perceived, as has been before intimated, that
Master Sam had a native talent that might, undoubtedly, have
raised him to eminence in political life, — a talent of making
1 capital out of everything that turned up, to be invested for
his own especial praise and glory ; and having done up his
piety and humility, as he trusted, to the satisfaction of the
parlor, he clapped his palm-leaf on - his head, with a sort of
rakish, free-and-easy air, and proceeded to the dominions of
Aunt Chloe, with the intention of flourishing largely in the
"I'll speechify these yer niggers," said Sam to himself,
" now I 've got a chance. Lord, I '11 reel it off to make 'em
stare ! "
It must be observed that one of Sam's especial delights had
been to ride in attendance on his master to all kinds of politi-
cal gatherings, where, roosted on some rail fence, or perched
aloft in some tree, he would sit watching the orators, with the
greatest apparent gusto, and then, descending among the
various brethren of his own color, assembled on the same
114 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
errand, he would edify and delight them with the most ludi-
crous burlesques and imitations, all delivered with the most
imperturbable earnestness and solemnity; and though the
auditors immediately about him were generally of his own
color, it not unfrequently happened that they were fringed
pretty deeply with those of a fairer complexion, who listened,
laughing and winking, to Sam's great self-congratulation. In
fact, Sam considered oratory as his vocation, and never let
slip an opportunity of magnifying his office.
Now, between Sam and Aunt Chloe there had existed,
from ancient times, a sort of chronic feud, or rather a decided
coolness ; but, as Sam was meditating something in the pro-
vision department, as the necessary and obvious foundation
of his operations, he determined, on the present occasion, to
be eminently conciliatory; for he well knew that although
" Missis' orders " would undoubtedly be followed to the let-
ter, yet he should gain a considerable deal by enlisting the
spirit also. He therefore appeared before Aunt Chloe with a
touchingly subdued, resigned expression, like one who has
suffered immeasurable hardships in behalf of a persecuted fel-
low-creature, — enlarged upon the fact that Missis had
directed him to come to Aunt Chloe for whatever might be
wanting to make up the balance in his solids and fluids, —
and thus unequivocally acknovrledged her right and suprem-
acy in the cooking department, and all thereto pertaining.
The thing took accordingly. No poor, simple, virtuous
body was ever cajoled by the attentions of an electioneering
politician with more ease than Aunt Chloe was won over by
Master Sam's suavities ; and if he had been the prodigal son
himself, he could not have been overwhelmed with more
maternal bountifulness ; and he soon found himself seated,
happy and glorious, over a large tin pan, containing a sort of
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 115
olla podrida of all that had appeared on the table for two or
three days past. Savory morsels of ham, golden blocks of
corn-cake, fragments of pie of every conceivable mathematical
figure, chicken wings, gizzards, and drumsticks, all appeared
in picturesque confusion ; and Sam, as monarch of all he sur-
veyed, sat with his palm-leaf cocked rejoicingly to one side,
and patronizing Andy at his right hand.
The kitchen was full of all his compeers, who had hurried
and crowded in, from the various cabins, to hear the termina-
tion of the day's exploits. Now was Sam's hour of glory.
The story of the day was rehearsed, with all kinds of orna-
ment and varnishing which might be necessary to heighten its
effect ; for Sam, like some of our fashionable dilettanti,
never allowed a story to lose any of its gilding by passing
through his hands. Roars of laughter attended the narra-
tion, and were taken up and prolonged by all the smaller fry,
who were lying, in any quantity, about on the floor, or perched
in every corner. In the height of the uproar and laughter,
Sam, however, preserved an immovable gravity, only from
time to time rolling his eyes up, and giving his auditors divers
inexpressibly droll glances, without departing from the sen-
tentious elevation of his oratory.
" Yer see, fellow-countrymen," said Sam, elevating a tur-
key's leg, with energy, "yer see, now, what dis yer chile 's
up ter, for fendin' yer all, — yes, all on yer. For him as
tries to get one o' our people, is as good as tryin' to get all ;
yer see the principle 's de same, — dat ar 's clar. And any
one o' these yer drivers that comes smelling round arter any
our people, why, he's got me in his way ; Vm the feller he 's
got to set in with, — I 'm the feller for yer all to come to,
bredren, — I '11 stand up for yer rights, — #'11 fend 'em to
the last breath ! "
116 UNCLE tom's cabin : OR,
" Why, but Sam, yer telled me, only this mornin', that
you 'd help this yer Mas'r to cotch Lizy ; seems to me yer
talk don't hang together," said Andy.
"I tell you now, Andy," said Sam, with awful superior-
ity, "don't yer be a talkin' 'bout what yer don't know
nothin' on ; boys like you, Andy, means well, but they
can't be spected to collusitate the great principles of action."
Andy looked rebuked, particularly by the hard word col-
lusitate, which most of the youngerly members of the com-
pany seemed to consider as a settler in the case, while Sam
" Dat ar was conscience, Andy; when I thought of gwine
arter Lizy, I railly spected Mas'r was sot dat way. When I
found Missis was sot the contrar, dat ar was conscience 'more
yet, — cause fellers allers gets more by stickin' to Missis'
side, — so yer see I 's persistent either way, and sticks up to
conscience, and holds on to principles. Yes, principles"
said Sam, giving an enthusiastic toss to a chicken's neck, —
"what 's principles good for, if we isn't persistent, I wanter
know ? Thar, Andy, you may have dat ar bone, — 'tan't
picked quite clean."
Sam's audience hanging on his words with open mouth, he
could not but proceed.
" Dis yer matter 'bout persistence, feller-niggers," said
Sam, with the air of one entering into an abstruse subject,
" dis yer 'sistency 's a thing what an't seed into very clar, by
most anybody. Now, yer see, when a feller stands up for a
thing one day and night, de contrar de next, folks ses (and
nat'rally enough dey ses), why he an't persistent, — hand
me dat ar bit o' corn-cake, Andy. But let 's look inter it.
I hope the genflaen and der fair sex will scuse my usin' an
or' nary sort o' 'parison. Here ! I'ma tryin' to get top o'
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 117
der hay. "VVal, I puts up my larder dis ycr side ; 'tan't no
go; — den, cause I don't try dere no more, but puts my larder
right de contrar side, an't I persistent? I 'm persistent in
wantin' to get up which ary side my larder is ; don't you see,
all on yer ? "
" It 's the only thing ye ever was persistent in, Lord
knows ! " muttered Aunt Chloe, who was getting rather
restive ; the merriment of the evening being to her somewhat
after the Scripture comparison, — like " vinegar upon nitre."
" Yes, indeed ! " said Sam, rising, full of supper and glory,
for a closing effort. " Yes, my feller-citizens and ladies of
de other sex in general, I has principles, — I 'm proud to
'oon 'em, — they 's perquisite to dese yer times, and ter all
times. I has principles, and I sticks to 'em like forty, — jest
anything that I thinks is principle, I goes in to 't ; — I
would n't mind if dey burnt me 'live, — I'd walk right up to
de stake, I would, and say, here I comes to shed my last
blood fur my principles, fur my country, fur der gen'l inter-
ests of s'ciety."
"Well," said Aunt Chloe, "one o' yer principles will
have to be to get to bed some time to-night, and not be a
keepin' everybody up till mornin' ; now, every one of you
young uns that don't want to be cracked, had better be scase,
"Niggers! all on yer," said Sam, waving his palm-leaf
with benignity, " I give yer my blessin' ; go to bed now, and
be good boys."
And, with this pathetic benediction, the assembly dis-
118 TTNCLE TOM' 8 CABIN: OR,
IN WHICH IT APPEARS THAT A SENATOR IS BUT A MAN.
TfiE light of the cheerful fire shone on the rug and carpet
cf a cosey parlor, and glittered on the sides of the tea-cups and
well-brightened tea-pot, as Senator Bird was drawing off his
boots, preparatory to inserting his feet in a pair of new hand-
some slippers, which his wife had been working for him while
away on his senatorial tour. Mrs. Bird, looking the very
picture of delight, was superintending the arrangements of the
table, evsr and anon mingling admonitory remarks to a num-
ber of frolicsome juveniles, who were effervescing in all those
modes of untold gambol and mischief that have astonished
mothers ever since the flood.
" Tom, let the door-knob alone, — there 's a man ! Mary !
Mary! don't pull the cat's tail, — poor pussy! Jim, you
must n't climb on that table, — no, no ! — You don't know,
my dear, what a surprise it is to us all, to see you here
to-night ! " said she, at last, when she found a space to say
something to her husband.
" Yes, yes, I thought I 'd just make a run down, spend the
night, and have a little comfort at home. I 'm tired to death,
and my head aches ! "
Mrs. Bird cast a glance at a camphor-bottle, which stood
in the half-open closet, and appeared to meditate an approach
to it, but her husband interposed.
" No, no, Mary, no doctoring ! a cup of your good hot tea,
and some of our good home living, is what I want. It 's a
tiresome business, this legislating ! "
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 119
And the senator smiled, as if he rather liked the idea of
considering himself a sacrifice to his country.
" Well," said his wife, after the business of the tea-table
was getting rather slack, " and what have they been doing
in the Senate?"
Now, it was a very unusual thing for gentle little Mrs.
Bird ever to trouble her head with what was going on in the
house of the state, very wisely considering that she had
enough to do to mind her own. Mr. Bird, therefore, opened
his eyes in surprise, and said, >
" Not very much of importance."
• : Well; but is it true that they have been passing a law
forbidding people to give meat and drink to those poor colored
folks that come along ? I heard they were talking of some
such law, but I did n't think any Christian legislature would
pass it ! "
" Why, Mary, you are getting to be a politician, all at once."
" No, nonsense ! I would n't give a fip for all your politics,
generally, but I think this is something downright cruel and
unchristian. I hope, my dear, no such law has been passed."
" There has been a law passed forbidding people to help off
the slaves that come over from Kentucky, my dear ; so much
of that thing has been done by these reckless Abolitionists,
that our brethren in Kentucky are very strongly excited, and
it seems necessary, and no more than Christian and kind, that
something should be done by our state to quiet the excite-
" And what is the law 1 It don't forbid us to shelter these
poor creatures a night, does it, and to give 'em something
comfortable to eat, and a few old clothes, and send them
quietly about their business 7 "
120 UNCLE tom's cabln: or,
" Why, yes, my dear ; that would be aiding and abetting,
Mrs. Bird was a timid, blushing little woman, of about four
feet in height, and with mild blue eyes, and a peach-blow
complexion, and the gentlest, sweetest voice in the world ; —
as for courage, a moderate-sized cock-turkey had been known
to put her to rout at the very first gobble, and a stout house-
dog, of moderate capacity, would bring her into subjection
merely by a show of his teeth. Her husband and children were
her entire world, and in these she ruled more by entreaty and
persuasion than by command or argument. There was only
one thing that was capable of arousing her, and that provoca-
tion came in on the side of her unusually gentle and sympa-
thetic nature; — anything in the shape of cruelty would throw
her into a passion, which was the more alarming and inexpli-
cable in proportion to the general softness of her nature.
Generally the most indulgent and easy to be entreated of all
mothers, still her boys had a very reverent remembrance of a
most vehement chastisement she once bestowed on them,
because she found them leagued with several graceless boys of
the neighborhood, stoning a defenceless kitten.
"I'll tell you what," Master Bill used to say, "I was
scared that time. Mother came at me so that I thought she
was crazy, and I was whipped and tumbled off to bed, without
any supper, before I could get over wondering what had come
about ; and, after that,' I heard mother crying outside the
door, which made me feel worse than all the rest. I '11 tell
you what," he 'd say, " we boys never stoned another kitten ! "
On the present occasion, Mrs. Bird rose quickly, with very
red cheeks, which quite improved her general appearance, and
walked up to her husband, with quite a resolute air, and said,
in a determined tone,
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 121
" Now, John, I want to know if you think such a law as
that is right and Christian ? "
" You won't shoot me, now, Mary, if I say I do ! "
"I never could have thought it of you, John; you didn't
vote for it?"
" Even so, my fair politician."
1 ' You ought to be ashamed, John ! Poor, homeless, house-
less creatures ! It 's a shameful, wicked, abominable law, and
I '11 break it, for one, the first time I get a chance ; and
I hope I shall have a chance, I do ! Things have got to a
pretty pass, if a woman can't give a warm supper and a bed
to poor, starving creatures, just because they are slaves, and
have been abused and oppressed all their lives, poor things ! "
11 But, Mary, just listen to me. Your feelings are all quite
right, dear, and interesting, and I love you for them; but,
then, dear, we mustn't suffer our feelings to run away with
our judgment ; you must consider it 's not a matter of private
feeling, — there are great public interests involved, — there
is such a state of public agitation rising, that we must put
aside our private feelings."
" Now, John, I don't know anything about politics, but I
can read my Bible ; and there I see that I must feed the
hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the desolate ; and that
Bible I mean to follow."
" But in cases where your doing so would involve a great
public evil — "
" Obeying God never brings on public evils. I know : t
can't. It's always safest, all round, to do as He bids us. >#
" Now, listen to me, Mary, and I can state to you a very
clear argument, to show — "
"0, nonsense. John ! you can talk all night, but you
wouldn't do it. I put it to you, John, — would you now
122 UNCLE tom's cabin: or,
turn away a poor, shivering, hungry creature from your door,
because he was a runaway? Would you, now? "
Now, if the truth must be told, our senator had the misfor-
tune to be a man who had a particularly humane and accessi
ble nature, and turning away anybody that was in trouble
never had been his forte ; and what was worse for him in this
particular pinch of the argument was, that his wife knew it,
and, of course, was making an assault on rather an indefens-
ible point. So he had recourse to the usual means of gaining
time for such cases made and provided; he said " ahem," and
coughed several times, took out his pocket-handkerchief, and
began to wipe his glasses. Mrs. Bird, seeing the defenceless
condition of the enemy's territory, had no more conscience
than to push her advantage.
"I should like to see you doing that, John — I really
should ! Turning a woman out of doors in a snow-storm, for
instance ; or, may be you 'd take her up and put her in jail,
would n't you ? You would make a great hand at that ' "
[ c Of course, it would be a very painful duty," began Mr.
Bird, in a moderate tone.
" Duty, John ! don't use that word ! You know it isn 't
a duty — it can't be a duty ! If folks want to keep their
slaves from running away, let 'em treat 'em well, — that 's my
doctrine. If I had slaves (as I hope I never shall have), I 'd
risk their wanting to run away from me, or you either, John,
I tell you folks don't run away when they are happy • and
when they do run, poor creatures ! they suffer enough with
cold and hunger and fear, without everybody's turning against
them ; and, law or no law, I never will, so help me God ! "
" Mary ! Mary ! My dear, let me reason with you."
" I hate reasoning, John, — especially reasoning on such
subjects. There 's a way you political folks have of coming
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 123
round and round a plain right thing ; and you don't believe
in it yourselves, when it comes to practice. I know you well
enough, John. You don't believe it 's right any more than
I do ; and you wouldn't do it any sooner than I."
At this critical juncture, old Cudjoe, the black man-of-all-
work, put his head in at the door, and wished "Missis would
come into the kitchen; " and our senator, tolerably relieved,
looked after his little wife with a whimsical mixture of amuse-
ment and vexation, and, seating himself in the arm-chair,
began to read the papers.
After a moment, his wife's voice was heard at the door, in
a quick, earnest tone, — " John ! John ! I do wish you 'd come
here, a moment."
He laid down his paper, and went into the kitchen, and
started, quite amazed at the sight that presented itself : — A
young and slender woman, with garments torn and frozen,
with one shoe gone, and the stocking torn away from the cut
and bleeding foot, was laid back in a deadly swoon upon two
chairs. There was the impress of the despised race on her
face, yet none could help feeling its mournful and pathetic
beauty, while its stony sharpness, its cold, fixed, deathly aspect,
struck a solemn chill over him. He drew his breath short,
and stood in silence. His wife, and their only colored domes-
tic, old Aunt Dinah, were busily engaged in restorative
measures ; while old Cudjoe had got the boy on his knee, and
was busy pulling off his shoes and stockings, and chafing his
little cold feet.
" Sure, now, if she an'ta sight to behold! " said old Dinah,
compassionately; "'pears like 'twas the heat that made her
faint. She was tol'able peart when she cum in, and asked if
she could n't warm herself here a spell ; and I was just a askhV
124 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
her where she cum from, and she fainted right down. Never
done much hard work, guess, by the looks of her hands."
" Poor creature ! " said Mrs. Bird, compassionately, as the
woman slowly unclosed her large, dark eyes, and looked
vacantly at her. Suddenly an expression of agony crossed
her face, and she sprang up, saying, " 0, my Harry ! Have
they got him?"
The boy, at this, jumped from Cudjoe's knee, and, running
to her side, put up his arms. "0, he 's here ! he 's here ! "
"0, ma'am ! " said she, wildly, to Mrs. Bird, " do protect
us ! don't let them get him ! "
" Nobody shall hurt you here, poor woman," said Mrs.
Bird, encouragingly. " You are safe; don't be afraid."
" God bless you ! " said the woman, covering her face and
sobbing; while the little boy, seeing her crying, tried to get
into her lap.
With many gentle and womanly offices, which none knew
better how to render than Mrs. Bird, the poor woman was, in
time, rendered more calm. A temporary bed was provided
for her on the settle, near the fire ; and, after a short time,
she fell into a heavy slumber, with the child, who seemed no
less weary, soundly sleeping on her arm ; for the mother
resisted, with nervous anxiety, the kindest attempts to take
nim from her; and, even in sleep, her arm encircled him
with an unrelaxing clasp, as if she could not even then be
beguiled of her vigilant hold.
Mr. and Mrs. Bird had gone back to the parlor, where,
strange as it may appear, no reference was made, on either
side, to the preceding conversation ; but Mrs. Bird busied
herself with her knitting-work, and Mr. Bird pretended to be
reading the paper.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 125
" I wonder who and what she is ! " said Mr. Bird, at last,
as he laid it down.
" When she wakes up and feels a little rested, we will see,"
said Mrs. Bird.
" I say, wife ! " said Mr. Bird, after musing in silence over
' She could n't wear one of jour gowns, could she, by any
letting down, or such matter 1 She seems to be rather larger
than you are."
A quite perceptible smile glimmered on Mrs. Bird's face, as
she answered, " We'll see."
Another pause, and Mr. Bird again broke out,
"I say, wife!"
"Well! What now?"
" Why, there 's that old bombazin cloak, that you keep on
purpose to put over me when I take my afternoon's nap ;
you might as well give her that, — she needs clothes."
At this instant, Dinah looked in to say that the woman was
awake, and wanted to see Missis.
Mr. and Mrs. Bird went into the kitchen, followed by the
two eldest boys, the smaller fry having, by this time, been
safely disposed of in bed.
The woman was now sitting up on the settle, by the fire.
She was looking steadily into the blaze, with a calm, heart-
broken expression, very different from her former agitated
" Did you want me?" said Mrs. Bird, in gentle tones.
11 1 hope you feel better now, poor woman ! "
A long-drawn, shivering sigh was the only answer ; but
she lifted her dark eyes, and fixed them on her with such a
126 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
forlorn and imploring expression, that the tears came into the
little woman's eyes.
" You need n't be afraid of anything ; we are friends here,
poor woman ! Tell me where you came from, and what you
want," said she.
"I came from Kentucky," said the woman.
"When?" said Mr. Bird, taking up the interrogatory.
" How did you come ? "
" I crossed on the ice."
" Crossed on the ice ! " said every one present.
" Yes." said the woman, slowly, " I did. God helping
me, I crossed on the ice ; for they were behind me — right
behind — and there was no other way ! "
" Law, Missis," said Cudjoe, "the ice is all in broken-up
blocks, a swinging and a tetering up and down in the water ! "
" I know it was — I know it ! " said she, wildly ; " but I
did it ! I would n't have thought I could, — I did n't think
I should get over, but I didn't care ! I could but die, if I
did n't. The Lord helped me ; nobody knows how much the
Lord can help 'em, till they try," said the woman, with a
" Were you a slave? " said Mr. Bird.
" Yes, sir; I belonged to "a man in Kentucky."
" Was he unkind to you ? "
"No, sir; he was a good master."
" And was your mistress unkind to you ? "
No, sir — no ! my mistress was always good to me."
"#What could induce you to leave a good home, then, and
run away, and go through such dangers? "
The woman looked up at Mrs. Bird, with a keen, scrutiniz-
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 127
ing glance, and it did not escape her that she was dressed in
" Ma'am," she said, suddenly, " have you ever lost a child? "
The question was unexpected, and it was a thrust on anew
wound ; for it was only a month since a darling child of the
family had been laid in the grave.
Mr, Bird turned around and walked to the window, and
Mrs. Bird burst into tears ; but, recovering her voice, she
" Why do you ask that? I have lost a little one."
" Then you will feel for me. I have lost two, one after
another, — left 'em buried there when I came away ; and I
had only this one left. I never slept a night without him ;
he was all I had. He was my comfort and pride, day and
night ; and, ma'am, they were going to take him away from
me, — to sell him, — sell him down south, ma'am, to go all
alone, — a baby that had never been away from his mother in
his life ! I could n't stand it, ma'am. I knew I never should
be good for anything, if they did ; and when I knew the
papers were signed, and he was sold, I took him and came off
in the night; and they chased me. — the man that bought
him, and some of Mas'r's folks, — and they were coming down
right behind me, and I heard 'em. I jumped right on to the
ice; and how I got across, I don't know, — but, first I knew, a
man was helping me up the bank."
The woman did not sob nor weep. She had gone to a place
where tears are dry ; but every one around her was, in some
way characteristic of themselves, showing signs of hearty
The two little boys, after a desperate rummaging in their
pockets, in search of those pocket-handkerchiefs which mothers
know arc never to bo found there, had thrown themselves
128 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR
disconsolately into the skirts of their mother's gown, where
they were sobbing, and wiping their eyes and noses, to their
hearts' content ; — ~ Mrs. Bird had her face fairly hidden in
her pocket-handkerchief; and old Dinah, with tears streaming
down her black, honest face, was ejaculating, "Lord have
mercy on us!" with all the fervor of a camp-meeting; —
while old Cudjoe, rubbing his eyes very hard with his cuffs,
and making a most uncommon variety of wry faces, occasion-
ally responded in the same key, with great fervor. Our
senator was a statesman, and of course could not be expected
to cry, like other mortals ; and so he turned his back to the
company, and looked out of the window, and seemed particu-
larly busy in clearing his throat and wiping his spectacle-
glasses, occasionally blowing his nose in a manner that was
calculated to excite suspicion, had any one been in a state to
"How came you to tell me you had a kind master?" he
suddenly exclaimed, gulping down very resolutely some kind
of rising in his throat, and turning suddenly round upon the
" Because he ivas a kind master ; I '11 say that of him, any
way ; — and my mistress was kind ; but they could n't help
themselves. They were owing money ; and there was some
way, I can't tell how, that a man had a hold on them, and
they were obliged to give him his will. I listened, and heard
him telling mistress that, and she begging and pleading for
me, — and he told her he couldn't help himself, and that the
papers were all drawn ; — and then it was I took him and
left my home, and came away. I knew 't was no use of my
trying to live, if they did it ; for 't 'pears like this child is all
" Have you no husband? "
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 129
" Yes, but he belongs to another man. His master is real
hard to him, and won't let him come to see me, hardly ever ;
and he 's grown harder and harder upon us, and he threatens
to sell him down south ; — it 's like I'll never see him again ! "
The quiet tone in which the woman pronounced these words
might have led a superficial observer to think that she was
entirely apathetic; but there was a calm, settled depth of
anguish in her large, dark eye, that spoke of something far
" And where do you mean to go, my poor woman ? " said
" To Canada, if I only knew where that was. Is it very
far off, is Canada? " said she, looking up, with a simple, con-
fiding air, to Mrs. Bird's face.
" Poor thing ! " said Mrs. Bird, involuntarily.
"Is't a very great way off, think?" said the woman,
"Much further than you think, poor child ! " said Mrs.
Bird; " but we will try to think what can be done for you.
Here, Dinah, make her up a bed in your own room, close by
the kitchen, and I '11 think what to do for her in the morning.
Meanwhile, never fear, poor woman ; put your trust in God ;
he will protect you."
Mrs. Bird and her husband reentered the parlor. She sat
down in her little rocking-chair before the fire, swaying
thoughtfully to and fro. Mr. Bird strode up and down the
room, grumbling to himself, " Pish ! pshaw ! confounded
awkward business ! " At length, striding up to his wife, he
" I say, wife, she '11 have to get away from here, this very
night. That fellow will be down on the scent bright and
early to-morrow morning ; if 'twas only the woman, she could
130 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR
lie quiet till it was over ; but that little chap can't be kept
still by a troop of horse and foot, I '11 warrant me ; he '11
bring it all out, popping his head out of some window or door.
A pretty kettle of fish it would be for me, too, to be caught
with them both here, just now ! No ; they '11- have to be got
" To-night ! How is it possible ? — where to ? "
"Well, I know pretty well where to," said the senator,
beginning to put on his boots, with a reflective air ; and,
stopping when his leg was half in, he embraced his knee with
both hands, and seemed to go off in deep meditation.
"It's a confounded awkward, ugly business," said he, at
last, beginning to tug at his boot-straps again, "and-that's a
fact ! " After one boot was fairly on, the senator sat with-
the other in his hand, profoundly studying the figure of the
carpet. " It will have to be done, though, for aught. I see, —
hang it all ! " and he drew the other boot anxiously on, and
looked out of the window.
. Now, little Mrs. Bird was a discreet woman, — a woman
who never in her 'life said, " I told you so ! " and, on the
present occasion, though pretty well aware of the shape her
husband's meditations were taking, she very prudently forbore
to meddle with them, only sat very quietly in her chair, and
looked quite ready to hear her liege lord's intentions, when he
should think proper to utter them.
"You see," he said, " there 's my old client, Yan Trompe,
has come over from Kentucky, and set all his slaves free ; and
he has bought a place seven miles up the creek, here, back in
the woods, where nobody goes, unless they go on purpose ;
and it 's a place that is n't found in a hurry. There she 'd
be safe enough ; but the plague of the thing is, nobody could
drive a carriage there to-night, but me."
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 131
u Why not? Cudjoe is an excellent driver."
u Ay, ay, but here it is. The creek has to be crossed
twice : and the second crossing is quite dangerous, unless one
knows it as I do. *I have crossed it a hundred times on horse-
back, and know exactly the turns io take. And so, you see,
there 's no help for it. Cudjoe must put in the horses, as
quietly as may be, about twelve o'clock, and I '11 take her
over ; and then, to give color to the matter, he must carry
me on to the next tavern, to take the stage for Columbus,
that comes by about three or four, and so it will look as if I
had had the carriage only for that. I shall get into business
bright and early in the morning. But I 'm thinking I shall
feel rather cheap there, after all that 's been said and done ;
but, hang it,. I can't help it ! "
" Your heart is better than your head, in this case, John,"
said the wife, laying her little white hand on his. . " Could I
ever have loved you, had I not known you better than you
know yourself? " And the little woman looked so handsome,
with the tears sparkling in her eyes, that the senator thought
he must be a decidedly clever fellow, to get such a pretty
creature into such a passionate admiration of him; and so,
what could he do but walk off soberly, to see about the car-
riage. At the door, however, he stopped a moment, and then
coming back, he said, with some hesitation,
" Mary, I don't know r how you 'd feel about it, but there '9
that drawer full of things — of — of — poor little Henry's."
So saying, he turned quickly on his heel, and shut the door
His wife opened the little bed-room door adjoining her
room, and, taking the candle, set it down on the top of a
bureau there ; then from a small recess she took a key, and
put it thoughtfully in the lock of a drawer, and made a sud-
132 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR
ien pause, -while two boys, who, boy like, had folio wed
close on her heels, stood looking, with silent, significant
o-larices, at their mother. And oh ! mother that reads this,
'las there never been in your house a drawer, or a closet, the'
opening of which has been to you like the opening again of a
little grave 1 Ah ! happy mother that you are, if it has not
Mrs. Bird slowly opened the drawer. There were little
coats of many a form and pattern, piles of aprons, and rows
of small stockings ; and even a pair of little shoes, worn and
rubbed at the toes, were peeping from the folds of a paper.
There was a toy horse and wagon, a top, a ball, — memorials
gathered with many a tear and many a heart-break ! She sat
down by the drawer, and, leaning her head on her hands
over it, wept till the tears fell through her fingers into the
drawer ; then suddenly raising her head, she began, with
nervous haste, selecting the plainest and most substantial
articles, and gathering them into a bundle.
" Mamma," said one of the boys, gently touching her arm,
" are you going to give away those things 1 "
"My dear boys," she said, softly and earnestly, "if our
dear, loving little Henry looks down from heaven, he would
be glad to have us do this. I could not find it in my heart to
give them away to any common person — to anybody that
was happy ; but I give them to a mother more heart-broken
and sorrowful than I am ; and I hope God will send his bless-
ings with them ! "
There are in this world blessed souls, whose sorrows all
spring up into joys for others ; whose earthly hopes, laid in
the grave with many tears, are the seed from which spring
healing flowers and balm for the desolate and the distressed.
Among such was the delicate woman who sits there by the
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 133
lamp, dropping slow tears, while she. prepares the memorials
of her own lost one for the outcast wanderer.
After a while, Mrs. Bird opened a wardrobe, and, taking
from thence a plain, serviceable dress or two, she sat down
busily to her work-table, and, with needle, scissors, and
thimble, at hand, quietly commenced the " letting down''
process which her husband had recommended, and continued
busily at it till the old clock in the corner struck twelve, and
she heard the low rattling of wheels at the door.
" Mary," said her husband, coming in, with his overcoat in
his hand, " you must wake her up now; we must be off."
Mrs. Bird hastily deposited the various articles she had col-
lected in a small plain trunk, and locking it, desired her hus-
band to see it in the carriage, and then proceeded to call the
woman. Soon, arrayed in a cloak, bonnet, and shawl, that
had belonged to her benefactress, she appeared at the door
with her child in her arms. Mr. Bird hurried her into the
carriage, and Mrs. Bird- pressed on after her to the carriage
steps. Eliza leaned out of the carriage, and put out her
hand, — a hand as soft and beautiful as was given in return.
She fixed her large, dark eyes, full of earnest meaning* on
Mrs. Bird's face, and seemed going to speak. Her lips
moved, — she tried once or twice, but there was no sound, —
and pointing upward, with a look never to be forgotten, she
fell back in the seat, and covered her face. The door was
shut, and the carriage drove on.
What a situation, now, for a patriotic senator, that had
been all' the week before spurring up the legislature of his
native state to pass more stringent resolutions against escap-
ing fugitives, their harborers and abettors !
Our good senator in his native state had not been exceeded
by any of his brethren at Washington, in the sort of elo-
134 UNCLE tom's cabin : OR,
quence which has won for them immortal renown ! How
sublimely he had sat with his hands in his pockets, and
scouted all sentimental weakness of those who would put the
welfare of a few miserable fugitives before great state inter-
He was as bold as a Hon about it, and "mightily con*
vinced" not only himself, but everybody that heard him; --
but then his idea of a fugitive was only an idea of the letters
that spell the word, — or, at the most, the image of a little
newspaper picture of a man with a stick and bundle, with
" Ran away from the subscriber " under it. The magic of
the real presence of distress, — the imploring human eye, the
frail, trembling human hand, the despairing appeal of helpless
agony, — these he had never tried. He had never thought
that a fugitive might be a hapless mother, a defenceless
child, — like that one which was now wearing his lost boy's
little well-known cap ; and so, as our poor senator was not
stone or steel, — as he was a man, and a downright noble-
hearted one, too, — he was, as everybody must see, in a sad
case for his patriotism. And you need not exult over him,
good brother of the Southern States ; for we have some ink-
lings that many of you, under similar circumstances, would
not do much better. We have reason to know, in Kentucky.
as in Mississippi, are noble and generous hearts, to whom
never was tale of suffering told in vain. Ah, good brother !
is it fair for you to expect of us services which your own
brave, honorable heart would not allow you to render, were
you in our place 1
Be that as it may, if our good senator was a political sin-
ner, he was in a fair way to expiate it by his night's penance.
There had been a long continuous period of rainy weather,
and the soft, rich earth of Ohio, as every one knows, is adcii-
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 135
rably suited to the manufacture of mud, — and the road was
an Ohio railroad of the good old times.
" And pray, what sort of a road may that be? " says some
eastern traveller, who has been accustomed to connect no
ideas with a railroad, but those of smoothness or speed.
Know, then, innocent eastern friend, that in benighted
regions of the west, where the mud is of unfathomable ^ind
sublime depth, roads are made of round rough logs, arranged
transversely side by side, and coated over in their pristine
freshness with earth, turf, and whatsoever may come to
hand, and then the rejoicing native calleth it a road, and
straightway essayeth to ride thereupon. In process of time,
the rains wash off all the turf and grass aforesaid, move the
logs hither and thither, in picturesque positions, up, down and
crosswise, with divers chasms and ruts of black mud inter-
Over such a road as this our senator went stumbling
along, making moral reflections as continuously as under the
circumstances could be expected, — the carriage proceeding
along much as follows, — bump ! bump ! bump ! slush ! down
in the mud ! — the senator, woman and child, reversing their
positions so suddenly as to come, without any very accurate
adjustment, against the windows of the down-hill side. Car-
riage sticks fast, while Cudjoe on the outside is heard making
a great muster among the horses. After various ineffectual
pullings and twitchings, just as the senator is losing all
patience, the carriage suddenly rights itself with a bounce, —
two front wheels go down into another abyss, and senator,
woman, and child, all tumble promiscuously on to the frort
seat, — senator's hat is jammed over his eyes and nose quite
unceremoniously, and he considers himself fairly extinguished ;
— child cries, and Cudjoe on the outside delivers animated
136 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
addresses to the horses, who are kicking, and floundering, and
straining, under repeated cracks of the whip. Carriage
springs up, with another bounce, — down go the hind wheels,
— senator, woman, and child, fly over on to the back seat,
his elbows encountering her bonnet, and both her feet being
jammed into his hat, which flies off in the concussion. After
a few moments the "slough" is passed, and the horses stop,
panting ; — the senator finds his hat, the woman straightens
her bonnet and hushes her child, and they brace themselves
firmly for what is yet to come.
For a while only the continuous bump ! bump ! intermin-
gled, just by way of variety, with divers side plunges and
compound shakes ; and they begin to flatter themselves that
they are not so badly off, after all. At last, with a square
plunge, which puts all on to their feet and then down into
their seats with incredible quickness, the carriage stops, —
and, after much outside commotion, Cudjoe appears at the
"Please, sir, it's powerful bad spot, this yer. I don't
know how we's to get clar out. I'm a thinkin' we '11 have
to be a gettin' rails."
The senator despairingly steps out, picking gingerly for
some firm foothold ; down goes one foot an immeasurable
depth, — he tries to pull it up, loses his balance, and tumbles
over into the mud, and is fished out, in a very despairing con-
dition, by Cudjoe.
But we forbear, out of sympathy to our readers' bones.
Western travellers, who have beguiled the midnight hour in
the interesting process of pulling down rail fences, to pry their
carriages out of mud holes, will have a respectful and mourn-
ful sympathy with our unfortunate hero. We beg them to
drop a silent tear, and pass on.
LIFE AMONG TIIE LOWLY. 143
over on the coarse shirt, already as smooth as hands could
make it ; and finally setting her iron suddenly down with a
despairing plunge, she sat down to the table, and ''lifted up
her voice and wept."
" S'pose we must be resigned; but oh Lord! how ken II
If I know'd anything whar you 's goin', or how they 'd sarve
you ! Missis says she '11 try and 'deem ye, in a year or two ;
but Lor ! nobody never comes up that goes down thar ! They
kills 'em ! I 've hearn 'em tell how dey works 'em up on
dem ar plantations."
"There'll be the same God there, Chloe, that there is
"Well," said Aunt Chloe, "s'pose dere will; but de Lord
lets drefful things happen, sometimes. I don't seem to get
no comfort dat way."
"I'm in the Lord's hands," said Tom; "nothin' can go
no furder than he lets it; — and thar's one thing I can
thank him for. It 's me that 's sold and going down, and not
you nur the chil'en. Here you 're safe ; — what comes will
come only on me ; and the Lord, he '11 help me, — I know
Ah, brave, manly heart, — smothering thine own sorrow,
to comfort thy beloved ones ! Tom spoke with a thick utter-
ance, and with a bitter choking in his throat, — but he spoke
brave and strong.
" Let 's think on our marcies ! " he added, tremulously ,. as
if he was quite sure he needed to think on them very hard
" Marcies ! " said Aunt Chloe ; " don't see no marcy in 't !
'tan't right ! tan't right it should be so ! Mas'r never ought
ter left it so that ye could be took for his debts. Ye 've arnt
him all he gets for ye, twice over. He owed ye yer freedom^
142 UNCLE tom's cabin: or,
and ought ter gin 't to yer years ago. Mebbe he can't help
himself now, but I feel it 's wrong. Nothing can't, beat that
ar out o' me. Sich a faithful crittur as ye 've been, — and
allers sot his business 'fore yer own every way, — and reckoned
on him more than yer own wife and chil'en ! Them as sells
heart's love and heart's blood, to get out thar scrapes, de
Lord '11 be up to 'em ! "
" Chloe ! now, if ye love me, ye won't talk so, when per-
haps jest the last time we '11 ever have together ! And I '11
tell ye, Chloe, it goes agin me to hear one word agin Mas'r.
Wan't he put in my arms a baby ? — it 's natur I should think
a heap of him. And he could n't be spected to think so
much of poor Tom. Mas'rs is used to havin' all these yer
things done for 'em, and nat'lly they don't think so much
on 't. They can't be spected to, no way. Set him 'longside
of other Mas'rs — who's had the treatment and the livin'
I've had? And he never would have let this yer come
on me, if he could have seed it aforehand. I know he
"Wal, anyway, thar's wrong about it somewhar" said
Aunt Chloe, in whom a stubborn sense of justice was a pre-
dominant trait ; "I can't jest make out whar 't is, but thar 's
wrong some whar, I'm clar o' that."
" Yer ought ter look up to the Lord above — he 's above
all — thar don't ^sparrow fall without him."
"It don't seem to comfort me, but I spect it orter," said
Aunt Chloe. "Butdar's no use talkin' ; I'll jes wet up
de corn-cake, and get ye one good breakfast, 'cause nobody
knows when you'll get another."
In order to appreciate the sufferings of the negroes sold
south, it must be remembered that all the instinctive affec-
tions of that race are peculiarly strong. Their local attach-
LIFE AMONG THE juOWLY. 148
ments are very abiding, They are not naturally daring and
enterprising, but home-loving and affectionate. Add to this
all the terrors with which ignorance invests the unknown, and
add to this, again, that selling to the south is set before the
negro from childhood as the last severity of punishment.
The threat that terrifies more than whipping or torture of
any kind is the threat of being sent down river. We have
ourselves heard this feeling expressed by them, and seen the
unaffected horror with which they will sit in their gossipping
hours, and tell frightful stories of that "down river," which
to them is
*' : That undiscovered country, from "whose bourn
No traveller returns."
A missionary among the fugitives in Canada told us that
many of the fugitives confessed themselves to have escaped
from comparatively kind masters, and that they were induced
to brave the perils of escape, in almost every case, by the
desperate horror with which they regarded being sold south,
— a doom which was hanging either over themselves or their
husbands, their wives or children. This nerves the African,
naturally patient, timid and unenterprising, with heroic
courage, and leads him to suffer hunger, cold, pain, the
perils of the wilderness, and the more dread penalties of
The simple morning meal now smoked on the table, for
Mrs. Shelby had excused Aunt Chloe's attendance at the
great house that morning. The poor soul had expended all
her little energies on this farewell feast, — had killed and
dressed her choicest chicken, and prepared her corn-cake
with scrupulous exactness, just to her husband's taste, and
brought out certain mysterious jars on the mantel-piece,
144 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR
Borne preserves that were never produced except on extreme
"Lor, Pete," said Mose, triumphantly, "han't we got a
buster of a breakfast ! " at the same time catching at a frag-
ment of the chicken.
Aunt Chloe gave him a sudden box on the ear. " Thar
now ! crowing over the last breakfast yer poor daddy 's gwine
to have to home ! "
" 0, Chloe ! " said Tom, gently.
" Wal, I can't help it," said Aunt Chloe, hiding her face
in her apron ; " I 's so tossed about, it makes me act ugly."
The boys stood quite still, looking first at their father and
then at their mother, while the baby, climbing up her clothes,
began an imperious, commanding cry.
" Thar! " said Aunt Chloe, wiping her eyes and taking up
the baby; " now I 's done, I hope, — now do eat something.
Tins yer's my nicest chicken. Thar, boys, ye shall have
some, poor critturs ! Yer mammy's been cross to yer."
The boys needed no second invitation, and went in with
great zeal for the eatables ; and it was well they did so, as
otherwise there would have been very little performed to any
purpose by the party.
" Now," said Aunt Chloe, bustling about after breakfast,
" I must put up yer clothes. Jest like as not, he '11 take
'em all away. I know thar ways — mean as dirt, they is !
Wal, now, yer flannels for rhumatis is in this corner ; so be
earful, 'cause there won't nobody make ye no more. Then
here 's yer old shirts, and these yer is new ones. I toed off
these yer stockings last night, and put de ball in 'em to mend
with. But Lor! who'll ever mend for ye?" and Aunt
Chloe, again overcome, laid her head on the box side, and
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLi. 145
sobbed. " To think on 't ! no crittur to do for ye, sick or
well ! I don't railly think I ought ter be good now ! "
The boys, having eaten everything there was on the break-
fast-table, began now to take some thought of the case ; and,
seeing their mother crying, and their father looking very sad,
began to whimper and put their hands to their eyes. Uncle
Tom had the baby on his knee, and was letting her enjoy
herself to the utmost extent, scratching his face and pulling
his hair, and occasionally breaking out into clamorous explo-
sions of delight, evidently arising out of her own internal
" Ay, crow away, poor crittur ! " said Aunt Chloe ; " ye '11
have to come to it, too ! ye '11 live to see yer husband sold, or
mebbe be sold yerself; and these yer boys, they's to be
sold, I s'pose, too, jest like as not, when dey gets good for
somethin' ; an't no use in niggers havin' nothin' ! "
Here one of the boys called out, " Thar 's Missis a-comin'
"She can't do no good; what's she coming for?" said
Mrs. Shelby entered. Aunt Chloe set a chair for her in
a manner decidedly gruff and crusty. She did not seem to
notice either the action or the manner. She looked pale and
"Tom," she said, " I come to — "and stopping suddenly,
and regarding the silent group, she sat down in the chair,
and, covering her face with her handkerchief, began to sob.
"Lor, now, Missis, don't — don't!" said Aunt Chloe,
bursting out in her turn ; and for a few moments they all
wept in company. And in those tears they all shed together,
the high and the lowly, melted away all the heart-burnings
and anger of the oppressed. 0, ye who visit the distressed,
146 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
do ye know that everything your money can buy, given with
a cold, averted face, is not worth one honest tear shed in real
"My good fellow," said Mrs. Shelby, "I can't give you
anything to do you any good. If I give you money, it will
only be taken from you. But I tell you solemnly, and before
God, that I will keep trace of you, and bring you back as
soon as I can command the money ; — and, till then, trust in
Here the boys called out that Mas'r Haley was coming,
and then an unceremonious kick pushed open the door.
Haley stood there in very ill humor, having ridden hard the
night before, and being not at all pacified by his ill success in
re-capturing his prey.
"Come," said he, "ye nigger, ye 'r ready? Servant,
ma'am ! " said he, taking off his hat, as he saw Mrs. Shelby.
Aunt Chloe shut and corded the box, and, getting up,
looked gruffly on the trader, her tears seeming suddenly
turned to sparks of fire.
Tom rose up meekly, to follow his new master, and raised
up his heavy box on his shoulder. His wife took the baby in
her arms to go with him to the wagon, and the children, still
crying, trailed on behind.
Mrs. Shelby, walking up to the trader, detained him for a
few moments, talking with liim in an earnest manner ; and
while she was thus talking, the whole family party proceeded
to a wagon, that stood ready harnessed at the door. A crowd
of all the old and young hands on the place stood gathered
around it, to bid farewell to their old associate. Tom had
been looked up to, both as a head servant and a Christian
teacher, by all the place, and there was much honest sympathy
and grief about him, particularly among the women.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 147
" Why, Chloe, you bar it better 'n we do ! " said one of the
women, who had been weeping freely, noticing the gloomy
calmness with which Aunt Chloe stood by the wagon.
" I 's done my tears ! " she said, looking grimly at the
trader, who was coming up. " I does not feel to cry 'fore dat
ar old limb, no how ! "
*■'• Get in ! " said Haley to Tom, as he strode through tho
crowd of servants, who looked at him with lowering brows.
Tom got in, and Haley, drawing out from under the wagon
scat a heavy pair of shackles, made them fast around each
A smothered groan of indignation ran through the whole
circle, and Mrs. Shelby spoke from the verandah, —
"Mr. Haley, I assure you that precaution is entirely
" Do'n know, ma'am; I've lost one five hundred dollars
from this yer place, and I can't afford to run no more risks."
" What else could she spect on him?" said Aunt Chloe,
indignantly, while the two boys, who now seemed to compre-
hend at once their father's destiny, clung to her gown, sobbing
and groaning vehemently.
" I 'm sorry," said Tom, " that Mas'r George happened to
George had gone to spend two or three days with a com-
panion on a neighboring estate, and having departed early in
the morning, before Tom's misfortune had been made public,
had left without hearing of it.
" Give my love to Mas'r George," he said, earnestly.
Haley whipped up the horse, and, with a steady, mourn-
ful look, fixed to the last on the old place, Tom was whirled
aw r ay. * * • <|r
Mr. Shelby at this time was not at home, , : He had sold
148 v UNCLE tom's cabin : OR,
Tom under the spur of a driving necessity, to get out of the
power of a man whom he dreaded, — and his first feeling, after
the consummation of the bargain, had been that of relief. But
his wife's expostulations awoke his half-slumbering regrets ;
and Tom's manly disinterestedness increased the unpleasant-
ness of his feelings. It was in vain that he said to himself
that he had a right to do it, — that everybody did it, — and
that some did it without even the excuse of necessity ; — ho
could not satisfy his own feelings ; and that he might not
witness the unpleasant scenes of the consummation, he had
gone on a short business tour up the country, hoping that
all would be over before he returned.
Tom and Haley rattled on along the dusty road, whirling
past every old familiar spot, until the bounds of the estate
were fairly passed, and they found themselves out on the
open pike. After they had ridden about a mile, Haley sud-
denly drew up at the door of a blacksmith's shop, when,
taking out with him a pair of handcuffs, he stepped into the
shop, to have a little alteration in them.
" These yer 's a little too small for his build," said Haley,
showing the fetters, and pointing out to Tom.
"Lor! now, if thar an't Shelby's Tom. He han't sold
him, now ? " said the smith.
"Yes, he has," said Haley.
" Now, ye don't ! well, reely," said the smith, " who'd a
thought it ! Why, ye need n't go to fetterin' him up this
yer way. He 's the faithfullest, best crittur — "
"Yes, yes," said Haley; "but your good fellers are just
the critturs to want ter run off. Them stupid ones, as does n't
care whar they go, and shifless, drunken ones, as don't care
for nothin', they '11 stick by, and like as not be rather pleased
to be toted round ; but these yer prime fellers, they hates it
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 149
like sin. No way but to fetter 'em; got legs, — they'll
use 'em, — no mistake."
"Well," said the smith, feeling among his tools, "them
plantations down thar, stranger, an't jest the place a Kentuck
nigger wants to go to; they dies thar tol'able fast, don't
"Wal, yes, tol'able fast, ther dying is; what with the
'climating and one thing and another, they dies so as to keep
the market up pretty brisk," said Haley.
" Wal, now, a feller can't help thinkin' it's a mighty pity
to have a nice, quiet, likely feller, as good un as Tom is, go
down to be fairly ground up on one of them ar sugar planta-
" Wal, he 's got a fa'r chance. I promised to do well by
him. I '11 get him in house-servant in some good old family,
and then, if he stands the fever and 'climating, he '11 have a
berth good as any nigger ought ter ask for."
" He leaves his wife and chil'en up here, s'pose 1 "
" Yes ; but he '11 get another thar. Lord, thar 's women
enough every whar," said Haley.
Tom was sitting very mournfully on the outside of the
shop while this conversation was going on. Suddenly he
heard the quick, short click of a horse's hoof behind him ;
arid, before he could fairly awake from his surprise, young
Master George sprang into the wagon, threw his arms
tumultuously round his neck, and was sobbing and scolding
" I declare, it's real mean ! I don't care what they say,
any of 'em ! It 's a nasty, mean shame ! If I was a man,
they should n't doit, — they should not, so/" said George,
with a kind of subdued howl.
" ! Mas'r George ! this does me good ! " said Tom. " I
150 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
could n't bar to go off without seein' ye ! It does me real
good, ye can't tell ! " Here Tom made some movement of
his feet, and George's eye fell on the fetters.
11 What a shame ! " he exclaimed, lifting his hands. " I '11
knock that old fellow down — I will ! "
" No you won't, Mas'r George ; and you must not talk so
loud. It won't help me any, to anger him."
" Well, I won't, then, for your sake ; but only to think of
it — is n't it a shame ? They never sent for me, nor sent me
any word, and, if it hadn't been for Tom Lincon, I shouldn't
have heard it. I tell you, I blew 'em up well, all of 'em, at
home ! "
11 That ar was n't right, I 'm 'feard, Mas'r George." #
" Can't help it ! I say it 's a shame ! Look here, Uncle
Tom," said he, turning his back to the shop, and speaking in
a mysterious tone, " I've brought you my dollar ! "
" ! I could n't think o' takin' on 't, Mas'r George, no
ways in the world ! " said Tom, quite moved.
"ButyousAa/Z take it!" said George; "look here — I
told Aunt Chloe I 'd do it, and she advised me just to make
a hole in it, and put a string through, so you could hang it
round your neck, and keep it out of sight ; else this mean
scamp would take it away. I tell ye, Tom, I want to bloT*
nim up ! it would do me good ! "
" No, don't, Mas'r George, for it won't do me any good
" Well, I won't, for your sake," said George, busily ty,/,<
his dollar round Tom's neck; "but there, now, button your
coat tight over it, and keep it, and remember, every time you
see it, that I '11 come down after you, and bring you back.
Aunt Chloe and I have been talking about it. I told her no*
to fear ; I'll see to it, and I'll tease father's life out, if he
don't do it."
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 151
u ! Mas'r George, ye mustn't talk so 'bout yer father ! "
" Lor, Uncle Tom, I don't mean anything bad."
M And now, Mas'r George," said Tom, " ye must be a good
boy ; 'member how many hearts is sot on ye. Al'ays keep
close to yer mother. Don't be gettin' into any of them foolish
ways boys has of gettin' too big to mind their mothers. Tell
ye what, Mas'r George, the Lord gives good many things
twice over; but he don't give ye a mother but once. Ye '11
never see sich another woman, Mas'r George, if ye live to be
a hundred years old. So, now, you hold on to her, and grow
up, and be a comfort to her, thar 's my own good boy, — you
will now, won't ye ? "
" Yes, I will, Uncle Tom," said George, seriously.
" And be careful of yer speaking, Mas'r George. Young
boys, when they comes to your age, is wilful, sometimes — it's
natur they should be. But real gentlemen, such as I hopes
you '11 be, never lets fall no words that is n?t 'spectful to thar
parents. Ye an't 'fended, Mas'r George?"
" No, indeed, Uncle Tom; you always did give me good
"I's older, ye know," said Tom, stroking the boy's fine,
curly head with his large, strong hand, but speaking in a
voice as tender as a woman's, " and I sees all that 's bound up
in you. 0, Mas'r George, you has everything, — l'arnin',
privileges, readin', writin', — and you '11 grow up to be a great,
learned, good man, and all the people on the place and your
mother and father '11 be so proud on ye ! Be a good Mas'r,
like yer father ; and be a Christian, like yer mother. 'Mem-
ber yer Creator in the days o' yer youth, Mas'r George."
" I '11 be real good, Uncle Tom, I tell you," said George.
"I'm going to be a first-rater ; and don't you be discour-
aged. I '11 have you back to the place, yet. As I told Aunt
152 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
Chloe this morning, I '11 build your house all over, and you
shall have a room for a parlor with a carpet on it, when I m
a man. 0, you '11 have good times yet ! "
Haley now came to the door, with the handcuffs in his
" Look here, now. Mister," said George, with an air of
great superiority, as he got out, " I shall let father and mother
know how you treat Uncle Tom ! "
" You 're welcome," said the trader.
" I should think you'd be ashamed to spend all your life
buying men and women, and chaining them, like cattle ! I
should think you 'd feel mean ! " said George.
" So long as your grand folks wants to buy men and women,
I'm as good as they is," said Haley; " 'tan't any meaner
sellin' on 'em, than 'tis buyin' ! "
"I'll never do either, when I'm a man," said George;
"I'm ashamed, this day, that I'm a Kentuckian. I always
was proud of it before ;" and George sat very straight on his
horse, and looked round with an air, as if he expected the state
would be impressed with his opinion.
"Well, good-by, Uncle Tom; keep a stiff upper lip," said
" Good-by, Mas'r George," said Tom, looking fondly and
admiringly at him. " God Almighty bless you ! Ah ! Ken-
tucky han't got many like you ! " he said, in the fulness
of his heart, as the frank, boyish face was lost to his
view. Away he went, and Tom looked, till the clatter of his
horse's heels died away, the last sound or sight of his home.
But over his heart there seemed to be a warm spot, where
those young hands had placed that precious dollar. Tom put
up his hand, and held it close to his heart.
"Now, I tell ye what, Tom," said Haley, as he came up
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 153
to the wagon, and threw in the hand-cuffs, " I mean to start
fa'r with ye, as I gen' ally do with my niggers ; and I '11 tell
ye now, to begin with, you treat me fa'r, and I '11 treat you
fa'r ; I an't never hard on my niggers. Calculates to do the
best for 'em I can. Now, ye see, you 'd better jest settle down
comfortable, and not be tryin' no tricks; because nigger's tricks
of all sorts I'm up to, and it 's no use. If niggers is quiet,
and don't try to get off, they has good times with me ; and if
they don't, why, it 's thar fault, and not mine."
Tom assured Haley that he had no present intentions of
running off. In fact, the exhortation seemed rather a super-
fluous one to a man with a great pair of iron fetters on his
feet. But Mr. Haley had got in the habit of commencing his
relations with his stock with little exhortations of this nature,
calculated, as he deemed, to inspire cheerfulness and confi-
dence, and prevent the necessity of any unpleasant scenes.
And here, for the present, we take our leave of Tom, to
pursue the fortunes of other characters in our story.
154 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OK,
IN WHICH PROPERTY GETS INTO AN IMPROPER STATE OP MIND.
It was late in a drizzly afternoon that a traveller alighted
at the door of a small country hotel, in the village of N ,
in Kentucky. In the bar-room he found assembled quite a
miscellaneous company, -whom stress of weather had driven to
harbor, and the place presented the usual scenery of such re-
unions. Great, tall, raw-boned Kentuckians, attired in hunt-
ing-shirts, and trailing their loose joints over a vast extent of
territory, with the easy lounge peculiar to the race, — rifles
stacked away in the corner, shot-pouches, game-bags, hunting-
dogs, and little negroes, all rolled together in tHe corners, —
were the characteristic features in the picture. At each end
of the fireplace sat a long-legged gentleman, with his chair
tipped back, his hat on his head, and the heels of his muddy
boots reposing sublimely on the mantel-piece, — a position, we
will inform our readers, decidedly favorable to the turn of
reflection incident to western taverns, where travellers exhibit
a decided preference for this particular mode of elevating
Mine host, who stood behind the bar, like most of his coun-
trymen, was great of stature, good-natured, and loose-jointed,
with an enormous shock of hair on his head, and a great tall
hat on the top of that.
In fact, everybody in the room bore on his head this char-
acteristic emblem of man's sovereignty ; whether it were felt
hat, palm-leaf, greasy beaver, or fine new chapeau, there it
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 155
reposed with true republican independence. In truth, it
appeared to be the characteristic mark of every individual.
Some wore them tipped rakishly to one side — these were
your men of humor, jolly, free-and-easy dogs ; some had
them jammed independently down over their noses — these
were your hard characters, thorough men, who, when they
wore their hats, wanted to wear them, and to wear them just
as they had a mind to ; there were those who had them set
far over back — wide-awake men, who wanted a clear prospect ;
while careless men, who did not know, or care, how their hats
sat, had them shaking about in all directions. The various
hats, in fact, were quite a Shakspearean study.
Divers negroes, in very free-and-easy pantaloons, and with
no redundancy in the shirt line, were scuttling about, hither
and thither, without bringing to pass any very particular
results, except expressing a generic willingness to turn over
everything in creation generally for the benefit of Mas'r and
his guests. Add to this picture a jolly, crackling, rollicking
fire, going rejoicingly up a great wide chimney,— the outer
door and every window being set wide open, and the calico
window-curtain flopping and snapping in a good stiff breeze of
damp raw air, — and you have an idea of the jollities of a
Your Kentuckian of the present day is a good illustration
of the doctrine of transmitted instincts and peculiarities. His
fathers were mighty hunters, — men who liyed in the woods,
and slept under the free, open heavens, with the stars to
hold their candles ; and their descendant to this day always
acts as if the house were his camp, — wears his hat at all
hours, tumbles himself about, and puts his heels on the tops
of chairs or mantel-pieces, just as his father rolled on the
green sward, and put his upon trees and logs, — keeps all the
156 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
windows and doors open, winter and summer, that lie may get
air enough for his great lungs, — calls everybody " stranger,"
with nonchalant bonhommie, and is altogether the frankest,
easiest, most jovial creature living.
Into such an assembly of the free and easy our traveller
entered. He was a short, thick-set man, carefully dressed,
with a round, good-natured countenance, and something rather
fussy and particular in his appearance. He was very careful
of his valise and umbrella, bringing them in with his own
hands, and resisting, pertinaciously, all offers from the various
servants to relieve him of them. He looked round the bar-
room with rather an anxious air, and, retreating with his val-
uables to the warmest corner, disposed them under his chair,
sat down, and looked rather apprehensively up at the worthy
whose heels illustrated the end of the mantel-piece, who was
spitting from right to left, with a courage and energy rather
alarming to gentlemen of weak nerves and particular habits.
" I say, stranger, how are ye ? " said the aforesaid gentle-
man, firing an honorary salute of tobacco-juice in the direction
of the new arrival.
" Well, I reckon," was the reply of the other, as he dodged,
with some alarm, the threatening honor.
" Any news?" said the respondent, taking out a strip of
tobacco and a large hunting-knife from his pocket.
" Not that I know of," said the man.
" Chaw?" said the first speaker, handing the old gentle-
man a bit of his tobacco, with a decidedly brotherly air.
" No, thank ye — it don't agree with me," said the little
man, edging off.
" Don't, eh ? " said the other, easily, and stowing away the
morsel in his own mouth, in order to keep up the supply of
tobacco-juice, for the general benefit of society.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 157
The old gentleman uniformly gave a little start whenever
his long-sided brother fired in his direction ; and this being
observed by his companion, he very good-naturedly turned his
artillery to another quarter, and proceeded to storm one of
the fire-irons with a degree of military talent fully sufficient
to take a city.
" What 's that ? " said the old gentleman, observing somo
of the company formed in a group around a large handbill.
" Nigger advertised ! " said one of the company, briefly.
Mr. Wilson, for that was the old gentleman's name, rose
up, and, after carefully adjusting his valise and umbrella, pro-
ceeded deliberately to take out Iris spectacles and fix them on
his nose ; and, this operation being performed, read as follows :
"Ran away from the subscriber, my mulatto boy, George. Said George
six feet in height, a very light mulatto, brown curly hair ; is very intelli-
gent, speaks handsomely, can read and write ; will probably try to pass
for a white man ; is deeply scarred on his back and shoulders ; has been
branded in his right hand with the letter H.
" I will give four hundred dollars for him alive, and the same sum for
satisfactory proof that he has been killed."
The old gentleman read this advertisement from end to end,
in a low voice, as if he were studying it.
The long-legged veteran, who had been besieging the fire-
iron, as before related, now took down his cumbrous length,
and rearing aloft his tall form, walked up to the advertisement,
and very deliberately spit a full discharge of tobacco-juice
" There 's my mind upon that ! " said he, briefly, and sat
" Why, now, stranger, what's that for? " said mine host.
" I 'd do it all the same to the writer of that ar paper, if
he was here,'' s*id the long man, coolly resuming his old
158 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR
employment of cutting tobacco. " Any man tliat owns a bo;y
like that, and can't find any better way o' treating on him,
deserves to lose him. Such papers as these is a shame to
Kentucky; that's my mind right out, if anybody wants to
know ! "
"Well, now, that's a fact," said mine host, as he made an
entry in his book.
" I 've got a gang of boys, sir," said the long man, resum-
ing his attack on the fire-irons, " and I jest tells 'em — c Boys,'
says I, — i run now ! dig ! put ! jest when ye want to ! I never
shall come to look after you ! ' That 's the way I keep mine.
Let 'em know they are free to run any time, and it jest breaks
up their wanting to. More 'n all, I 've got free papers for
'em all recorded, in case I gets keeled up any o' these times,
and they knows it ; and I tell ye, stranger, there an't a fel-
low in our parts gets more out of his niggers than I do.
Why, my boys have been to Cincinnati, with five hundred
dollars' worth of colts, and brought me back the money, all
straight, time and agin. It stands to reason they should.
Treat 'em like dogs, and you '11 have dogs' works and dogs'
actions. Treat 'em like men, and you'll have men's works."
And the honest drover, in his warmth, endorsed this moral
sentiment by firing a perfect feu dejoie at the fireplace.
"I think you're altogether right, friend," said Mr. Wil-
son ; " and this boy described here is a fine fellow — no mis-
take about that. He worked for me some half-dozen years
in my bagging factory, and he was my best hand, sir. He
is an ingenious fellow, too : he invented a machine for the
cleaning of hemp — a really valuable affair ; it 's gone into
use in several factories. His master holds the patent of it."
"I'll warrant ye," said the drover, "holds it and makes
money out of it, and then turns round and brands the boy in
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 159
his right hand. If I had a fair chance, I'd mark him, I
reckon, so that he 'd carry it one while."
" These yer knowin' boys is allers aggravatin' and sarcy,"
said a coarse-looking fellow, from the other side of the room ;
1 1 that 's why they gets cut up and marked so. If they behaved
themselves, they wouldn't."
" That is to say, the Lord made 'em men, and it's a hard
squeeze getting 'em down into beasts," said the drover, dryly.
"Bright niggers isn't no kind of 'vantage to their mas-
ters," continued the other, well intrenched, in a coarse, uncon-
scious obtuseness, from the contempt of his opponent ; ' ' what 's
the use o' talents and them things, if you can't get the use
on 'em yourself? Why, all the use they make on't is to get
round you. I've had one or two of these fellers, and I jest
sold 'em clown river. I knew I 'd got to lose 'em, first or
last, if I didn't."
' ; Better send orders up to the Lord, to make you a set, and
leave out their souls entirely," said the drover.
Here the conversation was interrupted by the approach of
a small one-horse buggy to the inn. It had a genteel appear-
ance, and a well-dressed, gentlemanly man sat on the seat,
with a colored servant driving.
The whole party examined the new comer with the interest
with which a set of loafers in a rainy day usually examine
every new comer. He was very tall, with a dark, Spanish
complexion, fine, expressive black eyes, and close-curling
hair, also of a glossy blackness. His well-formed aquiline
nose, straight thin lips, and the admirable contour of his finely-
formed limbs, impressed the whole company instantly with the
idea of something uncommon. He walked easily in among
the company, and with a nod indicated to his waiter where to
place his trunk, bowed to the company, and, with his hat in
100 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR
his hand, walked up leisurely to the bar, and gave in his name
as Henry Butler, Oaklands, Shelby County. Turning, with
an indifferent air, he sauntered up to the advertisement, and
read it over.
"Jim," he said to his man, "seems to me we met a boy
something like this, up at Bernan's, didn't we?"
"Yes, Mas'r," said Jim, "only I an't sure about the
"Well, I didn't look, of course," said the stranger, with a
careless yawn. Then, walking up to the landlord, he desired
him to furnish him with a private apartment, as he had some
writing to do immediately.
The landlord was all obsequious, and a relay of about seven
negroes, old and young, male and female, little and big, were
soon whizzing about, like a covey of partridges, bustling, hur-
rying, treading on each other's toes, and tumbling over each
other, in their zeal to get Mas'r's room ready, while he seated
himself easily on a chair in the middle of the room, and
entered into conversation with the man who sat next to him.
The manufacturer, Mr. Wilson, from the time of the entrance
of the stranger, Tiad regarded him with an air of disturbed and
uneasy curiosity. He seemed to himself to have met and
been acquainted with him somewhere, but he could not recol-
lect. Every few moments, when the man spoke, or moved, or
Bmiled, he would start and fix his eyes on him, and then sud-
denly withdraw them, as the bright, dark eyes met his with
such unconcerned coolness. At last, a sudden recollection
seemed to flash upon him, for he stared at the stranger with
such an air of blank amazement and alarm, that he walked up
"Mr. Wilson, I think," said he, in a tone of recognition
and extending his hand. " I beg your pardon, I did n't recol-
LIFE AAIONG THE LOWLY. 161
lect you before. I see you remember me, — Mr. Butler, of
Oaklands, Shelby County."
"Ye — yes — yes, sir," said Mr. Wilson, like one speak-
ing in a dream.
Just then a negro boy entered, and announced that Mas'r's
room was ready.
" Jim, see to the trunks," said the gentleman, negligently;
then addressing himself to Mr. Wilson, he added — "I should
like to have a few moments' conversation with you on business,
in my room, if you please."
Mr. Wilson followed him, as one who walks in his sleep ;
and they proceeded to a large upper chamber, where a new-
made fire was crackling, and various servants flying about,
putting finishing touches to the arrangements.
When all was done, and the servants departed, the young
man deliberately locked the door, and putting the key in his
pocket, faced about, and folding his arms on his bosom, looked
Mr. Wilson full in the face.
" George ! " said Mr. Wilson.
"Yes, George," said the young man.
" I couldn't have thought it ! "
"lam pretty well disguised, I fancy," said the young man,
with a smile. "A little walnut bark has made my yellow
skin a genteel brown, and I 've dyed my hair black ; so you
see I don't answer to the advertisement at all."
"0, George ! but this is a dangerous game you are play-
ing. I could not have advised you to it."
"I can do it on my own responsibility," said George, with
the same proud smile.
We remark, en passant, that George was, by his father's
side, of white descent. His mother was one of those unfor-
tunates of her race, marked out by personal beauty to be the
162 UNCLE tom's cabin: or,
slave of the passions of her possessor, and the mother of chil-
dren who may never know a father. From one of the proud-
est families in Kentucky he had inherited a set of fine Euro-
pean features, and a high, indomitable spirit. From his
mother he had received only a slight mulatto tinge, amply
compensated by its accompanying rich, dark eye. A slight
change in the tint of the skin and the color of his hair had
metamorphosed him into the Spanish-looking fellow he then
appeared ; and as gracefulness of movement and gentlemanly
manners had always been perfectly natural to him, he found
no difficulty in playing the bold part he had adopted — that
of a gentleman travelling with his domestic.
Mr. Wilson, a good-natured but extremely fidgety and
cautious old gentleman, ambled up and down the room,
appearing, as John Bunyan hath it, "much tumbled up and
down in his mind," and divided between his wish to help
George, and a certain confused notion of maintaining law and
order : so, as he shambled about, he delivered himself as
"Well, George, I s'pose you're running away — leaving
your lawful master, George — (I .don't wonder at it) — at the
same time, I 'm sorry, George, — yes, decidedly — I think I
must say that, George — it 's my duty to tell you so."
" Why are you sorry, sir ? " said George, calmly.
' ' Why, to see you, as it were, setting yourself in opposition
to the laws of your country."
u My country!" said George, with a strong and bitter
emphasis; "what country have I, but the grave, — and I
wish to God that I was laid there ! "
"Why, George, no — no — it won't do; this way of
talking is wicked — unscriptural. George, you 've got a hard
master — in fact, he is — well he conducts himself reprehensi-
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 163
LI y — I can't pretend to defend him. But you know how
the angel commanded Hagar to return to her mistress , and
submit herself under her hand ; and the apostle sent back
Onesimus to his master."
" Don't quote Bible at me that way, Mr. Wilson," said
George, with a flashing eye, " don't ! for my wife is a Chris-
tian, and I mean to be, if ever I get to where I can ; but to
quote Bible to a fellow in my circumstances, is enough to
make him give it up altogether. I appeal to God Almighty ;
— I 'm willing to go with the case to Him, and ask Him if I
do wrong to seek my freedom."
" These feelings are quite natural, George," said the good-
natured man, blowing his nose. " Yes they're natural, but
it is my duty not to encourage 'em in you. Yes, my boy,
I 'm sorry for you, now ; it 's a bad case — very bad ; but the
apostle says, c Let every one abide in the condition in which
he is called.' We must all submit to the indications of Prov-
idence, George, — don't you see ? "
George stood with his head drawn back, his arms folded
tightly over his broad breast, and a bitter smile curling his
" I wonder, Mr. Wilson, if the Indians should come and
take you a prisoner away from your wife and children, and
want to keep you all your life hoeing corn for them, if you 'd
think it your duty to abide in the condition in which you were
called. I rather think that you 'd think the first stray horse
you could find an indication of Providence — should n't you 1 "
The little old gentleman stared with both eyes at this illus-
tration of the case ; but, though not much of a reasoner, he
. had the sense in which some logicians on this particular sub-
ject do not excel, — that of saying nothing, where nothing
could be said. So, as he stood carefully stroking his umbrella,
164 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
and folding and patting down all the creases in it, he proceeded
on with his exhortations in a general way.
" You see, George, you know, now, I always have stood
your friend ; and whatever I've said, I 've said for your good.
Now, here, it seems to me, you 're running an awful risk.
You can't hope to carry it out. If you 're taken, it will be
worse with you than ever ; they '11 only abuse you, and half
kill you, and sell you down river."
"Mr. Wilson, I know all this," said George. "I do run
a risk, but — " he threw open his overcoat, and showed two
pistols and a bowie-knife. "There !" he said, "I 'm ready
for 'em ! Down south I never will go. No ! if it comes to
that, I can earn myself at least six feet of free soil, — the first
and last I shall ever own in Kentucky ! "
"Why, George, this state of mind is awful; it's getting
really desperate, George. I 'm concerned. Going to breav
the laws of your country ! "
' l My country again ! Mr. Wilson, you have a country ,
but what country have /, or any one like me, born of slavo
mothers? What laws are there for us ? We don't make-
them, — we don't consent to them, — we have nothing to d(
with them ; all they do for us is to crush us, and keep us
down. Have n't I heard your Fourth-of-July speeches ?
Don't you tell us all, once a year, that governments derive
their just power from the consent of the governed? Can't a
fellow think, that hears such things ? Can't he put this and
that together, and see what it comes to ? "
Mr. Wilson's mind was one of those that may not, unaptly
be represented by a bale of cotton, — downy, soft, benevolently
fuzzy and confused. He really pitied -George with all his
heart, and had a sort of dim and cloudy perception of the
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 165
style of feeling that agitated him ; but he deemed it his duty
to go on talking good to him, with infinite pertinacity.
" George, this is bad. I must tell you, you know, as a
friend, you 'd better not be meddling with such notions ; they
are bad, George, very bad, for boys in your condition, — very ; "
and Mr. Wilson sat down to a table, and began nervously
chewing the handle of his umbrella.
" See here, now, Mr. Wilson, " said George, coming up and
sitting himself determinately down in front of him ; " look at
me, now. Don't I sit before you, every way, just as much a
man as you are ? Look at my face, — look at my hands, —
look at my body/' and the young man drew himself up proudly ;
"why am I not a man, as much as anybody? Well, Mr.
Wilson, hear what I can tell you. I had a father — one of
your Kentucky gentlemen — who did n't think enough of me
to keep me from being sold with his dogs and horses, to satisfy
the estate, when he died. I saw my mother put up at sheriff's
sale, with her seven children. They were sold before her
eyes, one by one, all to different masters ; and I was the
youngest. She came and kneeled down before old Mas'r, and
begged him to buy her with me, that she might have at least
one child with her ; and he kicked her away with his heavy
boot. I saw him do it ; and the last that I heard was her
moans and screams, when I was tied to his horse's neck, to be
carried off to his place."
" My master traded with one of the men, and bought my
oldest lister. She was a pious, good girl, — a member of the
Baptist church, — and as handsome as my poor mother had
been. She was well brought up, and had good manners. At
first, I was glad she was bought, for I had one friend near me.
I was soon sorry for it. Sir, I have stood at the door and
1=66 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
heard her whipped, when it seemed as if every blow cut into
my naked heart, and I could n't do anything to help her ; and
she was whipped, sir, for wanting to live a decent Christian
life, such as your laws give no slave girl a right to live ; and
at last I saw her chained with a trader's gang, to be sent to
market in Orleans, — sent there for nothing else but that, —
and that 's the last I know of her. Well, I grew up, — long
years and years, — no father, no mother, no sister, not a liv-
ing soul that cared for me more than a dog ; nothing but
whipping, scolding, starving. Why, sir, I 've been so hungry
that I have been glad to take the bones they threw to their
dogs ; and yet, when I was a little fellow, and laid awake whole
nights and cried, it was n't the hunger, it was n't the whipping,
I cried for. No, sir ; it was for my mother and my sisters,
— it was because I hadn't a friend to love me on earth.
I never knew what peace or comfort was. I never had a
kind word spoken to me till I came to work in your factory.
Mr. Wilson, you treated me well ; you encouraged me to do
well, and to learn to read and write, and to try to make some-
thing of myself; and God knows how grateful I am for
it. Then, sir, I found my wife ; you 've seen her, — you know
how beautiful she is. When I found she loved me, when I
married her, I scarcely could believe I was alive, I was so
happy ; and, sir, she is as good as she is beautiful. But now
what 1 Why, now comes my master, takes me right away
from my work, and my friends, and all I like, and grinds me
down into the very dirt ! And why ? Because, he says, I
forgot who I was ; he says, to teach me that I am only a
nigger ! After all, and last of all, he comc'd between me and
my wife, and says I shall give her up, and live with another
woman. And all this your laws give him power to do, in
spite of God or man. Mr. Wilson, look at it ! There is n't
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 167
one of all these things, that have broken the hearts of my
mother and my sister, and my wife and myself, but your laws
allow, and give every man power to do, in Kentucky, and none
can say to him nay ! Do you call these the laws of my
country ? Sir, I have n't any country, any more than I have
any father. But I 'm going to have one. I don't want any-
thing of your country, except to be let alone, — to go peaca-
bly out of it ; and when I get to Canada, where the laws will
own me and protect me, that shall be my country, and its
laws I will obey. But if any man tries to stop me, let him
take care, for I am desperate. I '11 fight for my liberty to
the last breath I breathe. You say your fathers did it ; if it
was right for them, it is right for me ! "
This speech, delivered partly while sitting at the table, and
partly walking up and down the room, — delivered with tears,
and flashing eyes, and despairing gestures, — was altogether too
much for the good-natured old body to whom it was addressed,
who had pulled out a great yellow silk pocket-handkerchief,
and was mopping up his face with great energy.
" Blast 'em all ! " he suddenly broke out. " Have n't I
always said so — the infernal old cusses ! I hope I an't swear-
ing, now. Well ! go ahead, George, go ahead ; but be care-
ful, my boy ; don't shoot anybody, George, unless — well —
you 'd better not shoot, I reckon ; at least, I would n't hit
anybody, you know. Where is your wife, George % " he
added, as he nervously rose, and began walking the room.
" Gone, sir, gone, with her child in her arms, the Lord only
knows where ; — gone after the north star ; and when we ever
meet, or whether we meet at all in this world, no creature
" Is it possible ! astonishing ! from such a. kind family ? "
"Kind families get in debt, and the laws of our country
168 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
allow them to sell the child out of its mother's bosom to pay
its master's debts," said George, bitterly.
"Well, well," said the honest old man, fumbling in his
pocket. " I s'pose, perhaps, I an't following my judgment, —
liang it, I wonH follow my judgment ! " he added, suddenly;
" so here, George," and, taking out a roll of bills from his
pocket-book, he offered them to George.
"No, my kind, good sir ! " said George, "you've done a
great deal for me, and this might get you into trouble. I
have money enough, I hope, to take me as far as I need it."
" No ; but you must, George. Money is a great help every-
where ; — can't have too much, if you get it honestly. Take
it, — do take it, now, — do, my boy ! "
" On condition, sir, that I may repay it at some future
time, I will," said George, taking up the money.
" And«now, George, how long are you going to travel in
this way? — not long or far, I hope. It's well carried on,
but too bold. And this black fellow, — who is he? "
" A true fellow, who went to Canada more than a year ago.
He heard, after he got there, that his master was so angry at
him for going off that he had whipped his poor old mother ;
and he has come all the way back to comfort her, and get a
chance to get her away."
"Has he got her?"
" Not yet ; he has been hanging about the place, and found
no chance yet. Meanwhile, he is going with me as far as
Ohio, to put me among friends that helped him, and then he
will come back after her."
" Dangerous, very dangerous ! " said the old man.
George drew himself up, and smiled disdainfully.
The old gentleman eyed him from head to foot, with a sort
of innocent wonder.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 169
" George, something has brought you out wonderfully. You
hold up your head, and speak and move like another man,"
said Mr. Wilson.
"Because I'm a freeman!" said George, proudly.
Yes, sir ; I 've said Mas'r for the last time to any man,
/'m free! "
" Take care ! You are not sure, — you may be taken/'
" All men are free and equal in the grave, if it comes t©
that, Mr. Wilson," said George.
" I 'm perfectly dumb-foundered with your boldness ! " said
Mr. Wilson, — "to come right here to the nearest tavern i v "
"Mr. Wilson, it is so bold, and this tavern is so near, that
they will never think of it ; they will look for me on ahead,
and you yourself would n't know me. Jim's master don't
live in this county ; he is n't known in these parts. Besides,
he is given up ; nobody is looking after him, and nobody will
take me up from the advertisement, I think."
" But the mark in your hand ? "
George drew off his glove, and showed a newly -healed scar
in his hand.
# " That is a parting proof of Mr. Harris' regard," he said,
scornfully. " A fortnight ago, he took it into his head to give
it to me, because he said he believed I should try to get away
one of these days. Looks interesting, doesn't it?" he said,
drawing his glove on again. •
" I declare, my very blood runs cold when I think Df ifc,—~
your condition and your risks ! " said Mr. Wilson.
" Mine has run cold a good many years, Mr. Wilson; at
present, it's about up to the boiling point," said George.
"Well, my good sir," continued George, after a few mo-
ments' silence, "I saw you knew me ; I thought I'd just '
have this talk with you, lest your surprised looks should bring
170 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OK
mc out. I leave early to-morrow morning, before daylight ,
by to-morrow night I hope to sleep safe in Ohio. I shall
travel by daylight, stop at the best hotels, go to the dinner-
tables with the lords of the land. So, good-by, sir ; if you
hear that I 'in taken, you may know that I 'm dead ! "
George stood up like a rock, and put out his hand with the
air of a prince. The friendly little old man shook it heartily,
and after a little shower of caution, he took his umbrella, and
fumbled his way out of the room.
George stood thoughtfully looking at the door, as the old
man closed it. A thought seemed to flash across hia mind.
He hastily stepped to it, and opening it, said,
"Mr. Wilson, one word more."
The old gentleman entered again, and George, as before,
locked the door, and then stood for a few moments looking on
the floor •irresolutely. At last, raising his head with a sud-
den effort —
" Mr. Wilson, you have shown yourself a Christian in your
treatment of me, — I want to ask one last deed of Christian
kindness of you."
" Well, George."
"Well, sir, — what you said was true. I am running a
dreadful risk. There is n't, on earth, a living soul to care if
I die," he added, drawing his breath hard, and speaking with
a great effort, — " I shall be kicked out and buried like a dog,
and nobody "11 think of it a day after, — only my poor wife !
Poor soul ! she '11 mourn and grieve ; and if you 'd only con-
trive, Mr. Wilson, to send this little pin to her. She gave it
to me for a Christmas present, poor child ! Give it to her,
and tell her I loved her to the last. Will you ? Will you ? "
he added, earnestly.
" Yes, certainly — poor fellow ! " said the old gentleman,
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 171
taking the pin, with watery eyes, and a melancholy quiver in
•' Tell her one thing," said George; "it's my last wish,
if she can get to Canada, to go there. No matter how kind
her mistress is, — no matter how much she loves her home ;
beg her not to go back, — for slavery always ends in misery.
Tell her to bring up our boy a free man, and then he won't
suffer as I have. Tell her this, Mr. Wilson, will you? "
"Yes, George, I '11 tell her; but I trust you won't die;
take heart, — you're a brave fellow. Trust in the Lord,
George. I wish in my heart you were safe through, though,
— that 's what I do."
" Is there a God to trust in? " said George, in such a tone
of bitter despair as arrested the old gentleman's words. " 0,
I 've seen things all my life that have made me feel that there
can't be a God. You Christians don't know how these things
look to us. There 's a God for you, but is there any for us ? "
"0, now, don't- — don't, my boy!" said the old man,
almost sobbing as he spoke ; " don't feel so ! There is — there
is ; clouds and darkness are around about him, but righteous-
ness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. There 's
a God, George, — believe it; tast in Him, and I'm sure
He '11 help you. Everything will be set right, — if not in this
life, in another."
The real piety and benevolence of the simple old nun
invested him with a temporary dignity and authority, as he
spoke. George stopped his distracted walk up and down the
room, stood thoughtfully a moment, and then said, quietly,
" Thank you for saying that, my good friend; I'll think
172 UXCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR
SELECT INCIDENT 01" LAWFUL TRADE.
e *In Ram ah there was a voice heard, — weeping, and lamentation, and groat
k&ourning ; Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted."
Mr. PI ale y and Tom jogged onward in their wagon, each,
for a time, absorbed in his own reflections. Now, the
reflections of two men sitting side by side are a curious thing,
— seated on the same seat, having the same eyes, ears, hands
and organs of all sorts, and having pass before their eyes the
same objects, — it is wonderful what a variety we shall find
in these same reflections !
As, for example, Mr. Haley: he tnought first of Tom's
length, and breadth, and height, and what he would sell for,
if he was kept fat and in good case till he got him into
market. He thought of how he should make out his gang ;
he thought of the respective market value of certain supposi-
titious men and women and children who were to compose it,
and other kindred topics of the business ; then he thought of
himself, and how humane he was, that whereas other men
chained their "niggers" hand and foot both, he only put
fetters on the feet, and left Tom the use of his hands, as long
as he behaved well ; and he sighed to think how ungrateful
human nature was, so that there was even room to doubt
■whether Tom appreciated his mercies. He had been taken
in so by " niggers " whom he had favored; but still he was
astonished to consider how good-natured he yet remained !
As to Tom, he was thinking over some w T ords of an
unfashionable old book, which kept running through his head
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 17
again and again, as follows : ' ' We have here no continuing
city t but we seek one to come; wherefore God himself is not
ashamed to be called our God ; for he hath prepared for us a
city." These words of an ancient volume, got up principally
by " ignorant and unlearned men," have, through all time,
kept up, somehow, a strange sort of power over the minds
of poor, simple fellows, like Tom. They stir up the soul %
from its depths, and rouse, as with trumpet call,. courage,
energy, and enthusiasm, where before was only the blackness
Mr. Haley pulled out of his pocket sundry newspapers, and
began looking over their advertisements, with absorbed interest.
He 'was not a remarkably fluent reader, and was in the habit
of reading in a sort of recitative half-aloud, by way of calling
in his ears to verify the deductions of his eyes. In this tone
he slowly recited the following paragraph :
"Executor's Sale, — Negroes! — Agreeably to order of court, will
be sold, on Tuesday, February 20, before the Court-house door, in the town
of Washington, Kentucky, the following negroes : Ilagar, aged 60 ; John,
aged 80 ; Ben, aged 21 ; Saul, aged 25 ; Albert, aged 14. Sold for the
benefit of the creditors and heirs of the estate of Jesse Blutchford, Esq.
1 'This yer I must look at," said he to Tom, for want of
somebody else to talk to.
" Ye see, I 'm going to get up a prime gang to take down
with ye, Tom; it'll make it sociable and pleasant like, — good
company will, ye know. We must drive right to Washington
first and foremost, and then I '11 clap you into jail, while I does
Tom received this agreeable intelligence quite meekly;
174 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OH,
simply wondering, in his own heart, how many of these doomed
men had wives and children, and whether they would feel as
he did about leaving them. It is to be confessed, too, that
the naive, off-hand information that he was to be thrown into
jail by no means produced an agreeable impression on a. poor
fellow who had always prided himself on a strictly honest and
upright course of life. Yes, Tom, we must confess it, was
rather pi;oud of his honesty, poor fellow, — not having very
much else to be proud of; — if he had belonged to some Of the
higher walks of society, he, perhaps, would never have been
reduced to such straits. However, the day wore on, and
the evening saw Haley and Tom comfortably accommodated
in Washington, — the one in a tavern, and the other in a jail.
About eleven o'clock the next day, a mixed throng was
gathered around the court-house steps, — smoking, chewing
spitting, swearing, and conversing, according to their respect-
ive tastes and turns, — waiting for the auction to commence.
The men and women to be sold sat in a group apart, talking
in a low tone to each other. The woman who had been
advertised hj the name of Hagar was a regular African in
feature and figure. She might have been sixty, but was older
than that by hard work and disease, was partially blind, and
somewhat crippled with rheumatism. By her side stood her
only remaining son, Albert, a bright-looking little fellow of
fourteen years. The boy was the only survivor of a large
family, who had been successively sold away from her to a
southern market. The mother held on to him with both her
shaking hands, and eyed with intense trepidation every one
who walked up to examine him.
" Don't be feard, Aunt Hagar," said the oldest of the
men, " I spoke to Mas'r Thomas 'bout it, and he thought he
might manage to sell you in a lot both together."
LIFE AMONG- THE LOWLY. 175
" Dey need n't call me worn out yet," said she, lifting her
shaking hands. " I can cook yet, and scrub, and scour, — I ? m
wuth a buying, if I do come cheap ; — tell em clat ar, — you
tell em," she added, earnestly.
Haley here forced his way into the group, walked up to
the old man, pulled his mouth open and looked in, felt of his
teeth, made him stand and straighten himself, bend his back,
and perform various evolutions to show his muscles ; and then
passed on to the next, and put him through the same trial.
"Walking up last to the boy, he felt of his arms, straightened
Ins hands, and looked at his fingers, and made him jump, to
show his agility.
"He an't gwine to be sold widout me!" said the old
woman, with passionate eagerness ; "he and I goes in a
lot together ; I 's rail strong yet. Mas'r, and can do heaps o'
work, — heaps on it, Mas'r."
"On plantation?" said Haley, with a contemptuous
glance. " Likely story ! " and, as if satisfied with his examina-
tion, he walked out and looked, and stood with his hands in
his pocket, his cigar in his mouth, and his hat cocked on one
side, ready for action.
"What think of 'em?" said a man who had been follow-
ing Haley's examination, as if to make up his own mind
" Wal," said Haley, spitting, " I shall put in, I think, for
the youngerly ones and the boy."
" They want to sell the boy and the old woman together,"
said the man.
" Find it a tight pull; — why, she 's an old rack o' bones, —
not worth her salt."
"You wouldn't, then?" said the man.
176 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
"Anybody 'd be a fool 't would. She 's half blind, crooked
with rheumatis, and foolish to boot."
" Some buys up these yer old critturs, and ses there 's a
sight more wear in 'em than a body 'd think," said the man,
"No go, 'tall," said Haley; "wouldn't take her for a
present, — fact, — I 've seen, now."
" Wal, 'tis kinder pity, now, not to buy her with her son,
— her heart seems so sot on him, — s'pose they fling her in'
"Them that's got money to spend that ar way, it's all
well enough. I shall bid off on that ar boy for a plantation-
hand ; — would n't be bothered with her, no wuy, — not if
they'd give her to me," said Haley.
" She '11 take on desp't," said the man.
"Nat'lly, she will," said the trader, coolly.
The conversation was here interrupted by a busy hum in
the audience ; and the auctioneer, a short, bustling, important
fellow, elbowed his way into the crowd. The old woman
drew in her breath, and caught instinctively at her son.
" Keep close to yer mammy, Albert, — close, — dey '11 put
us up togedder," she said.
"0, mammy, I 'm feard they won't," said the boy.
" Dey must, child; I can't live, no ways, if they don't,"
said the old creature, vehemently.
The stentorian tones of the auctioneer, calling out to clear
the way, now announced that the sale was about to commence.
A place was cleared, and the bidding began. The different
men on the list were soon knocked off at prices which showed
a pretty brisk demand in the market ; two of them fell to
"Come, now, young un, ' said the auctioneer, giving
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 177
the boy a touch with, his hammer, "be up and show your
" Put us two up togedder, togedder, — do please, Mas'r,"
said the old woman, holding fast to her boy.
" Be off," said the man, gruffly, pushing her hands away;
u you come last. Now, darkey, spring;" and, with the word,
he pushed the boy toward the block, while a deep, heavy
groan rose behind him. The boy paused, and looked back ; but
there was no time to stay, and, dashing the tears from his
large, bright eyes, he was up in a moment.
His fine figure, alert limbs, and bright face, raised an
instant competition, and half a dozen bids simultaneously met
the ear of the auctioneer. Anxious, half-frightened, he
looked from side to side, as he heard the clatter of contending
bids, — now here, now there, — till the hammer fell. Haley
had got him. He was pushed from the block toward his new
master, but stopped one moment, and looked back, when his
poor old mother, trembling in every limb, held out her shak-
ing hands toward him.
" Buy me too, Mas'r, for de dear Lord's sake ! — buy me,
— I shall die if you don't ! "
" You '11 die if I do, that 's the kink of it," said Haley, —
u no ! " And he turned on his heel.
The bidding for the poor old creature was summary. The
man who had addressed Haley, and who seemed not destitute
of compassion, bought her for a trifle, and the spectators began
The poor victims of the sale, who had been -brought up in
one place together for years, gathered round the despairing
old mother, whose agony was pitiful to see.
" Could n't dey leave me one 1 Mas'r allers said I should
178 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
have one, — he did," she repeated over and over, in heart-
" Trust in the Lord, Aunt Hagar," said the oldest of the
" What good will it do? " said she, sobbing passionately.
" Mother, mother,^ — don't ! don't ! " said the boy. " They
Bay you 's got a good master."
"I don't care, — I don't care. 0, Albert! oh, my boy!
you 's my last baby. Lord, how ken I ? "
"Come, take her off, can't some of ye?" said Haley,
dryly ; "don't do no good for her to go on that ar way."
The old men of the company, partly by persuasion and
partly by force, loosed the poor creature's last despairing
hold, and, as they led her off to her new master's wagon,
strove to comfort her.
" Now ! " said Haley, pushing his three purchases together,
and producing a bundle of handcuffs, which he proceeded to
put on their wrists ; and fastening each handcuff to a long
chain, he drove them before him to the jail.
A few clays saw Haley, with his possessions, safely deposited
on one of the Ohio boats. It was the commencement of his
gang, to be augmented, as the boat moved on, by various
other merchandise of the same kind, which he, or his agent,
nad stored for him in various points along shore.
The La Belle Riviere, as brave and beautiful a boat as ever
walked the waters of her namesake river, was floating gayly
down the stream, under a brilliant sky, the stripes and stars
of free America waving and fluttering over head ; the guards
crowded with well-dressed ladies and gentlemen walking and
enjoying the delightful day. All was full of life, buoyant
and rejoicing ; — all but Haley's gang, who were stored, with
other freight, on the lower deck, and who, somehow, did not
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 179
«*eem to appreciate their various privileges, as they sat in a
knot, talking to each other in low tones.
"Boys," said Haley, coming up, briskly, "I hope you
keep up good heart, and are cheerful. Now, no sulks, ye
see; keep stiff upper lip, boys; do well by me, and I'll do
well by you."
The boys addressed responded the invariable "Yes,
Mas'r," for ages the watchword of poor Africa; but it's to
be owned they did not look particularly cheerful ; they had
their various little prejudices in favor of wives, mothers, sis-
ters, and children, seen for the last time, — and though " they
that wasted them required of them mirth," it was not instantly
"I've got a wife," spoke out the article enumerated as
" John, aged thirty," and he laid his chained hand on Tom's
knee, — " and she don't know a word about this, poor girl ! "
. " Where does she live? " said Tom.
" In a tavern a piece down here," said John ; "I wish, now,
I could see her once more in this world," he added.
Poor John ! It ivas rather natural ; and the tears that
fell, as he spoke, came as naturally as if he had been a white
man. Tom drew a long breath from a sore heart, and tried,
in his poor way, to comfort him.
And over head, in the cabin, sat fathers and mothers, hus-
bands and wives ; and merry, dancing children moved round
among them, like so many little butterflies, and everything
was going on quite easy and comfortable.
" 0, mamma," said' a boy, who had just come up from
below, "there's a negro trader on board, and he 's brought
four or five slaves down there."
"Poor creatures!" said the mother, in a tone between
grief and indignation.
180 UNCLE. TOM'S CABIN: OR,
" What 's that 1 " said another lady.
" Some poor slaves below," said the mother.
" And they 've got chains on," said the boy.
" What a shame to our country that such sights are to be
seen ! " said another lady.
" 0, there 's a great deal to be said on both sides of the
subject," said a genteel woman, who sat at her state-room door
sew T ing, while her little girl and boy were playing round her.
"I 've been south, and I must say I think the negroes are
better off than they would be to be free."
" In some respects, some of them are well off, I grant,"
said the lady to whose remark she had answered. " The
most dreadful part of slavery, to my mind, is its outrages on
the feelings and affections, — the separating of families, for
" That is a bad thing, certainly," said the other lady, hold-
ing up a baby's dress she had just completed, and looking
intently on its trimmings ; " but then, I fancy, it don't occur
" 0, it does," said the first lady, eagerly; "I've lived
many years in Kentucky and Virginia both, and I 've seen
enough to make any one's heart sick. Suppose, ma'am, your
two children, there, should be taken from you, and sold 1 "
" We can't reason from our feelings to those of this class
of persons," said the other lady, sorting out some worsteds on
" Indeed, ma'am, you can know nothing of them, if you
say so," answered the first lady, warmly. " I was born and
brought up among them. I know they do feel, just as
keenly, — even more so, perhaps, — as we do."
The lady said "Indeed!" yawned, and looked out the
cabin window, and finally repeated, for a finale, the remark
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 181
with which she had begun, — " After all, I think tliej are
better off than they would be to be free."
"It's undoubtedly the intention of Providence that the
African race should be servants, — kept in a low condition,"
said a grave-looking gentleman in black, a clergyman, seated
by the cabin door. " ' Cursed be Canaan ; a servant of ser-
vants shall he be,' the scripture says."
" I say, stranger, is that ar what that text means ) '' said a
tall man, standing by.
1 ' Undoubtedly. It pleased Providence, for some inscru-
table reason, to doom the race to bondage, ages ago ; and we
must not set up our opinion against that."
" Well, then, we '11 all go ahead and buy up niggers," said
the man, "if that's the way of Providence, — won't we,
Squire ? " said he, turning to Haley, who had been standing,
with his hands in his pockets, by the stove, and intently lis-
tening to the conversation.
"Yes," continued the tall man, "we must all be resigned
to the decrees of Providence. Niggers must be sold, and
trucked round, and kept under ; it 's what they 's made for,
'Pears like this yer view's quite refreshing, an't it, stran-
ger ? " said he to Haley.
" I never thought on 't," said Haley. " I could n't have
said as much, myself; I ha'nt no larning. I took up the
trade just to make a living; if 'tan't right, I calculated to
'pent on 't in time, ye know."
"And now you '11 save yerself the trouble, won't ye?'
said the tall man. " See what 'tis, now, to know scripture,
If ye 'd only studied yer Bible, like this yer good man, ye
might have know'd it before, and saved ye a heap o' trouble.
Ye could jist have said, ' Cussed be ' — • what 's his name ? — ■
1 and 'twould all have come right.' " And the stranger,
182 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
who was no other than the honest drover whom we introduced
to our readers in the Kentucky tavern, sat down, and began
smoking, with a curious smile on his long, dry face.
A tall, slender young man, with a face expressive of great
feeling and intelligence, here broke in, and repeated the
words, " l All things whatsoever ye would that men should
do unto you, do ye even so unto them.' I suppose," ho
added, " that is scripture, as much as ' Cursed be Canaan.' "
" Wal, it seems quite as plain a text, stranger," said John
the drover, "to poor fellows like us, now;" and John smoked
on like a volcano.
The young man paused, looked as if he was going to say
more, when suddenly the boat stopped, and the company
made the usual steamboat rush, to see where they were
"Both them ar chaps parsons?" said John to one of the
men, as they w r \e going out.
The man nodded.
As the boat stopped, a black woman came running wildly
up the plank, darted into the crowd, flew up to where the slave
gang sat, and threw her arms round that unfortunate piece
of merchandise before enumerated — "John, aged thirty,'
and with sobs and tears bemoaned him as her husband.
But what needs tell the story, told too oft, — every day told,
— of heart-strings rent and broken, — the weak broken and
torn for the profit and convenience of the strong ! It reeds
not to be told ; — every day is telling it, — telling it, too, in
the ear of Ono who is not deaf, though he be long silent.
The young man who had spoken for the cause of humanity
and God before stood w T ith folded arms, looking on this
scene. He turned, and Haley was standing at his side.
"My friend," he said, speaking with thick utterance, "how
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 183
can you, how dare you, carry on a trade like this 1 Look at
those poor creatures ! Here I am, rejoicing in my heart that
I am going home to my wife and child ; and the same bell
•which is a signal to carry me onward towards them will part
this poor man and his wife forever. Depend upon it, God
will bring you into judgment for this."
The trader turned away in silence.
" I say, now," said the drover, touching his elbow, tm there's
differences in parsons, an't there ? ' Cussed be Canaan ' don't
seem to go down with this 'un, does it? "
Haley gave an uneasy growl.
"And that ar an't the worst on't," said John; "mabbe
it won't go down with the Lord, neither, when ye come to
settle with Him, one o' these days, as all on us must, I
Haley walked reflectively to the other end of the boat.
" If I make pretty handsomely on one or two next gangs,"
he thought, " I reckon I '11 stop off this yer ; it 's really get-
ting dangerous." And he took out his pocket-book, and
began adding over his accounts, — a process which many
gentlemen besides Mr. Haley have found a specific for an
The boat sw T ept proudly away from the shore, and all went
on merrily, as before. Men talked, and loafed, and read, and
smoked. Women sewed, and children played, and the boat
passed on her way.
One day, when she lay to for a while at a small towm in
Kentucky, Haley went up into the place on a little matter of
Tom, whose fetters did not prevent his taking a moderate
circuit, had drawn near the side of the boat, and stood list-
lessly gazing over the railings. After a time, he saw the
184 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OB,
trader returning, with an alert step, in company -with, a
colored woman, bearing in her arms a young child. She was
dressed quite respectably, and a colored man followed her,
bringing along a small trunk. The woman came cheerfully
onward, talking, as she came, with the man who bore her
trunk, and so passed up the plank into the boat. The bell
rung, the steamer whizzed, the engine groaned and coughed,
and away swept the boat down the river.
The woman walked forward among the boxes and bales of
the lower deck, and, sitting down, busied herself with chir-
ruping to her baby.
Haley made a turn or two about the boat, and then, coming
up, seated himself near her, and began saying something to
her in an indifferent undertone.
Tom soon noticed a heavy cloud passing over the woman's
brow ; and that she answered rapidly, and with great vehe-
" I don't believe it, — I won't believe it ! " he heard her say.
" You 're jist a foolin with me."
"If you won't believe it, look here! " said the man, draw-
ing out a paper ; " this yer 's the bill of sale, and there's
your master's name to it ; and I paid down good solid cash
for it, too, I can tell you, — so, now ! "
"I don't believe Mas' r would cheat me so; it can't be
ha' !" said the woman, with increasing agitation.
" You can ask any of these men here, that can read writ-
ing. Here ! " he said, to a man that was passing by,
"jist read this yer, won't you ! This yer gal won't believe
me, when I tell her what 'tis."
"Why, it's a bill of sale, signed by John Fosdick," said
the man, " making over to you the girl Lucy and her child.
It 's all straight enough, for aught I see."
LIFE AMOXG THE LOWLY. 185
The woman's passionate exclamations collected a crowd
around her, and the trader briefly explained to them the cause
of the agitation.
" He told me that I was going down to Louisville, to hire
out as cook to the same tavern where my husband works, —
that 's what Mas'r told me, his own self; and I can't believe
he 'd lie to me," said the woman.
' ( But he has sold you, my poor woman, there 's no doubt
about it," said a good-natured looking man, who had been
examining the papers ; " he has done it, and no mistake."
" Then it 's no account talking," said the woman, suddenly
growing quite calm ; and, clasping her child tighter in her
arms, she sat down on her box, turned her back round, and
gazed listlessly into the river.
"Going to take it easy, after all!" said the trader.
" Gal 's got grit, I see."
The woman looked calm, as the boat went on ; and a beau-
tiful soft summer breeze passed like a compassionate spirit
over her head, — the gentle breeze, that never inquires
whether the brow is dusky or fair that it fans. And she saw
sunshine sparkling on the water, in golden ripples, and hear
gay voices, full of ease and pleasure, talking around hei
everywhere ; but her heart lay as if a great stone had fallen
on it. Her baby raised himself up against her, and stroked
her cheeks with his little hands ; and, springing up and down,
crowing and chatting, seemed determined to arouse her. She
strained him suddenly and tightly in her arms, and slowly
one tear after another fell on his wondering, unconscious face ;
and gradually she seemed, and little by little, to grow calmer,
and busied herself with tending and nursing him.
The child, a boy of ten months, was uncommonly large and
strong of his age, and very vigorous in his limbs. Never, for
186 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR
a moment, still a he kept his mother constantly busy in hold-
ing him, and guarding his springing activity.
"That's a fine chap!" said a man, suddenly stopping
opposite to him, with his hands in his pockets. "How old is
" Ten months and a half," said the mother.
The man whistled to the boy, and offered him part of a
stick of candy, which he eagerly grabbed at, and very soon
had it in a baby's general depository, to wit, his mouth.
"Rum fellow ! " said the man. " Knows what 's what ! "
and he whistled, and walked on. When he had got to the
other side of the boat, he came across Haley, who was smok-
ing on top of a pile of boxes.
The stranger produced a match, and lighted a cigar, saying,
as he did so,
" Decentish kind o' wench you've got round there,
"Why, I reckon she is tol'able fair," said Haley, blowing
the smoke out of his mouth.
" Taking her down south ? " said the man.
Haley nodded, and smoked on.
" Plantation hand? " said the man.
" Wal," said Haley, " I 'm fillin' out an order for a planta-
tion, and I think I shall put her in. They telled me she was
•x good cook ; and they can vse her for that, or set her at the
cotton-picking. She 's got the right fingers for that ; I looked
at 'em. Sell well, either way ;" and Haley resumed his cigar.
" They won't want the young 'un on a plantation," said
" I shall sell him, first chance I find," said Haley, lighting
" S'pose you 'd be selling him tol'able cheap," said the
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLV. 187
stranger, mounting the pile of boxes, and sitting down com-
"Don't know 'bout that," said Haley; "he's a pretty
smart young ' un, — straight, fat, strong ; flesh as hard as a
brick ! "
" Very true, but then there 's all the bother and expense
"Nonsense ! " said Haley; " they is raised as easy as any
kind of critter there is going ; they an't a bit more trouble
than pups. This yer chap will be running all round, in a
"I've got a good place for raisin', and I thought of takin'
in a little more stock," said the man. " One cook lost a
young 'un last week, — got drownded in a wash-tub, while she
was a hangin' out clothes, — and I reckon it would be well
enough to set her to raisin' this yer."
Haley and the stranger smoked a while in silence, neither
seeming willing to broach the test question of the interview.
At last the man resumed :
" You wouldn't think of wantin' more than ten dollars for
that ar chap, seeing you must get him off yer hand, any
Haley shook his head, and spit impressively.
" That won't do, no ways," he said, and began his smoking
" Well, stranger, what will you take ? "
"Well, now," said Haley, "I could raise that ar chap
myself, or get him raised ; he 's oncommon likely and healthy,
and he 'd fetch a hundred dollars, six months hence ; and, in a
year or two, he : d bring two hundred, if I had him in the
right spot; — so I shan't take a cent less nor fifty for him
188 UNCLE tom's cabin : OR
"0, stranger! that's rediculous, altogether," said the
" Fact ! " said Haley, with a decisive nod of his head.
"I'll give thirty for him," said the stranger, "but not a
"Now, I '11 tell ye what I will do," said Haley, spitting
again, with renewed decision. " I '11 split the difference, and
say forty-five ; and that 's the most I will do."
" Well, agreed ! " said the man, after an interval.
" Done ! " said Haley. " Where do you land ? "
"At Louisville," said the man.
"Louisville," said Haley. "Very fair, we get there
about dusk. Chap will be asleep, — all fair, — get him off
quietly, and no screaming, — happens beautiful, — I like to
do everything quietly, — I hates all kind of agitation and
fluster." And so, after a transfer of certain bills had passed
from the man's pocket-book to the trader's, he resumed his
It was a bright, tranquil evening when the boat stopped at
the wharf at Louisville. The woman had been sitting with
her baby in her arms, now wrapped in a heavy sleep. When
she heard the name of the place called out, she hastily laid
the child down in a little cradle formed by the hollow among
the boxes, first carefully spreading under it her cloak ; and
then she sprung to the side of the boat, in hopes that, among
the various hotel-waiters who thronged the wharf, she might
see her husband. In this hope, she pressed forward to the
front rails, and, stretching far over them, strained her eye?
intently on the moving heads on the shore, and the crowd'
pressed in between her and the child.
" Now 's your time," said Haley, taking the sleeping child
up, and handing him to the stranger. " Don't wake him up.
LIFE AMC SG THE LOWLY. 189
and set him to crying, now ; it would make a devil of a fus^
with the gal." The man took the bundle carefully , and was
soon lost in the crowd that went up the wharf.
When the boat, creaking, and groaning, and puffing, had
loosed from the wharf, and was beginning slowly to strain
herself along, the woman returned to her old seat. The
trader was sitting there, — the child was gone !
"Why. why, — where?" she began, in bewildered sur-
"Lucy," said the trader, "your child's gone; you may
as well know it first as last. You see, I know'd you
could n't take him down south ; and I got a chance to sell
him to a first-rate family, that '11 raise him better than you
The trader had arrived at that stage of Christian and
political perfection which has been recommended by some
preachers and politicians of the north, lately, in which he
had completely overcome every humane weakness and prej-
udice. His heart was exactly where yours, sir, and mine
could be brought, with proper effort and cultivation. The
wild look of anguish and utter despair that the woman oast on
him might have disturbed one less practised ; but he was
used to it. He had seen that same look hundreds of times.
You can get used to such things, too, my friend ; and it is
the great object of recent efforts to make our whole northern
community used to them, for the glory of the Union. So the
trader only regarded the mortal anguish which he saw work-
ing in those dark features, those clenched hands, and suffo-
- eating breathings, as necessary incidents of the trade, and
merely calculated whether she was going to scream, and get
up a commotion on the boat ; for, like other supporters of oui
peculiar institution, he decidedh disliked agitation.
190 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
But the woman did not scream. The shot had passed too
straight and direct through the heart, for cry or tear.
Dizzily she sat down. Her slack hands fell lifeless hy her
side. Her eyes looked straight forward, but she saw
nothing. All the noise and hum of the boat, the groaning of
the machinery, mingled dreamily to her bewildered ear ; and
the poor, dumb-stricken heart had neither cry nor tear to
show for its utter misery. She was quite calm.
The trader, who, considering his advantages, was almost
as humane as some of our politicians, seemed to feel called on
to administer such consolation as the case admitted of.
" I know this yer comes kinder hard, at first, Lucy," said
he ; " but such a smart, sensible gal as you are, won't give
way to it. You see it 's necessary, and can't be helped ! "
u ! don't, Mas'r, don't ! " said the woman, with a voice
like one that is smothering.
" You 're a smart wench, Lucy," he persisted; "I mean to
do well by ye, and get ye a nice place down river ; and
you '11 soon get another husband, — such a likely gal as
you — "
"0! Mas'r, if you only won't talk to me now," said the
woman, in a voice of such quick and living anguish that the
trader felt that there was something at present in the case
beyond his style of operation. He got up, and the woman
turned away, and buried her head in her cloak.
The trader walked up and down for a time, and occasionally
stopped and looked at her.
" Takes it hard, rather," he soliloquized, " but quiet, tho';
■ — let her sweat a while ; she '11 come right, by and by ! "
Tom had watched the whole transaction from first to last,
and had a perfect understanding of its results. To him, it
looked like something unutterably horrible and cruel because.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 191
poor, ignorant black soul ! lie had not learned to generalize,
and to take enlarged views. If lie had only been instructed
by certain ministers of Christianity, he might have thought
better of it, and seen in it an every-day incident of a lawful
trade ; a trade which is the vital support of an institution
which some American divines tell us has no evils but such
as are inseparable from any other relations in social and
domestic life. But Tom, as we see, being a poor, ignorant
fellow, whose reading had been confined entirely to the New
Testament, could not comfort and solace himself with views
like these. His very soul bled within him for what seemed
to him the wrongs of the poor suffering thing that lay like a
crushed reed on the boxes ; the feeling, living, bleeding, yet
immortal thing, which American state law coolly classes
with the bundles, and bales, and boxes, among which she is
Tom drew near, and tried to say something ; but she only
groaned. Honestly, and with tears running down his own
cheeks, he spoke of a heart of love in the skies, of a pitying
Jesus, and an eternal home ; but the ear was deaf with
anguish, and the palsied heart could not feel.
Night came on, — night calm, unmoved, and glorious, shin-
ing down with her innumerable and solemn angel eyes, twink- ^k
ling, beautiful, but silent. There was no speech nor language,^
no pitying voice nor helping hand, from that distant sky.
One after another, the voices of business or pleasure diedLaway;
all on the boat were sleeping, and the ripples at the prow were
plainly heard. Tom stretched himself out on a box, and there,
as he lay, he heard, ever and anon, a smothered sob or cry
from the prostrate creature, — "0! what shall I do?
192 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
Lord ! good Lord, do help me!" and so, ever and anon,
until the murmur died away in silence.
At midnight, Tom waked, with a sudden start. Something
black passed quickly by him to the side of the boat, and he
heard a splash in the water. No one else saw or heard any-
thing. He raised his head, — the woman's place was vacant !
He got up, and sought about him in vain. The poor bleeding
heart was still, at last, and the river rippled and dimpled just
as brightly as if it had not closed above it.
Patience ! patience ! ye whose hearts swell indignant at
wrongs like these. Not one throb of anguish, not one tear of
the oppressed, is forgotten by the Man of Sorrows, the Lord
of Glory. In his patient, generous bosom he bears the anguish
of a world. Bear thou, like him, in patience, and labor in
love ; for sure as he is God, " the year of his redeemed shall
The trader waked up bright and early, and came out to see
to his live stock. It was now his turn to look about in per-
" Where alive is that gal ? " he said to Tom.
Tom, who had learned the wisdom of keeping counsel, did
not feel called on to state his observations and suspicions, but
said he did not know.
" She surely couldn't have got off in the night at any of
the landings, for I was awake, 'and on the look-out, whenever
the boat stopped. I never trust these yer things to other
This speech was addressed to Tom quite confidentially, as
if it was something that would be specially interesting to him.
Tom made no answer.
The trader searched the boat from stem to stern, among
LIFE AMONO THE LOWLY. 198
ooxes, bales and barrels, around the machinery, by the chim-
neys, in vain.
" Now, I say, Tom, be fair about this yer," he said, when,
after a fruitless search, he came where Tom was standing.
1 You know something about it, now. Don't tell me, — I know
you do. I saw the gal stretched out here about ten o'clock,
and ag'in at twelve, and ag'in between one and two; and then
at four she was gone, and you was a sleeping right there all
the time. Now, you know something, — you can't help it."
"Well, Mas'r," said Tom, "towards morning something
brushed by me, and I kinder half woke ; and then I hearn a
great splash, and then I clare woke up, and the gal was gone.
That 'sail I know on 't."
The trader was not shocked nor amazed ; because, as wo
said before, he was used to a great many things that you are
not used to. Even the awful presence of Death struck no
solemn chill upon him. He had seen Death many times, —
met him in the way of trade, and got acquainted with him, —
and he only thought of him as a hard customer, that embar-
rassed his property operations very unfairly ; and so he only
swore that the gal was a baggage, and that he was devilish
unlucky, and that, if things went on in this way, he should
not make a cent on the trip. In short, he seemed to consider
himself an ill-used man, decidedly ; but there was no help for
it, as the woman had escaped into a state which never will
give up a fugitive, — not even at the demand of the whole
glorious Union. The trader, therefore, sat discontentedly
down, with his little account-book, and put down the missing
body and soul under the head of losses !
" He 's a shocking creature, isn't he, — this trader? so
unfeeling ! It 's dreadful, really ! "
"0, but nobody thinks anything of these traders ! They
194 UNCLE TOM J S CABIN: OR,
are universally despised, — never received into any decent
But who, sir, makes the trader ? Who is most to blame 1
The enlightened, cultivated, intelligent man, who supports the
system of which the trader is the inevitable result, or the poor
trader himself? You make the public sentiment that calls
for his trade, that debauches and depraves him, till he feels
no shame in it ; and in what are you better than he ?
Are you educated and he ignorant, you high and he
low, you refined and he coarse, you talented and he simple ?
In the day of a future Judgment, these very considerations
may make it more tolerable for him than for you.
In concluding these little incidents of lawful trade, we must
beg the world not to think that American legislators are
entirely destitute of humanity, as might, perhaps, be unfairly
inferred from the great efforts made in our national body to
protect and perpetuate this species of traffic.
Who does not know how our great men are outdoing them-
selves, in declaiming against the foreign slave-trade. Ther ft
are a perfect host of Clarksons and Wilberforces risen up
among us on that subject, most edifying to hear and behold.
Trading negroes from Africa, dear reader, is so horrid ! It
is not to be thought of ! But trading them from Kentucky,
— that 's quite another thing !
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 195
THE QUAKER SETTLEMENT.
A quiet scene now rises before us. A large, roomy, neatly-
painted kitchen, its yellow floor glossy and smooth, and with-
out a particle of dust ; a neat, well-blacked cooking-stove ;
rows of shining tin, suggestive of unmentionable good things
to the appetite ; glossy green wood chairs, old and firm ;
a small flag-bottomed rocking-chair, with a patch-work cush-
ion in it, neatly contrived out of small pieces of different col-
ored woollen goods, and a larger sized one, motherly and old,
whose wide arms breathed hospitable invitation, seconded by
the solicitation of its feather cushions, — a real comfortable,
persuasive old chair, and worth, in the way of honest, homely
enjoyment, a dozen of your plush or brochetelle drawing-room
gentry ; and in the chair, gently swaying back and forward,
her eyes bent on some fine sewing, sat our old friend Eliza.
Yes, there she is, paler and thinner than in her Kentucky
home, with a world of quiet sorrow lying under the shadow
of her long eyelashes, and marking the outline of her gentle
mouth ! It was plain to see how old and firm the girlish
heart was grown under the discipline of heavy sorrow ; and
when, anon, her large dark eye was raised to follow the gam-
bols of her little Harry, who was sporting, like some tropical
butterfly, hither and thither over the floor, she showed a depth
of firmness and steady resolve that was never there in her
earlier and happier days.
196 UNCLE tom's cabin : OR,
By her side sat a woman with a bright tin pan in her lap,
into which she was carefully sorting some dried peaches. She
might be fifty-five or sixty ; but hers was one of those faces
that time seems to touch only to brighten and adorn. The
snowy lisse crape cap, made after the strait Quaker pattern,
— the plain white muslin handkerchief, lying in placid folds
across her bosom, — the drab shawl and dress, — showed at once
the community to which she belonged. Her face was round
and rosy, with a healthful downy softness, suggestive of a
ripe peach. Her hair, partially silvered by age, was parted
smoothly back from a high placid forehead, on which time
had written no inscription, except peace on earth, good will to
men, and beneath shone a large pair of clear, honest, loving
brown eyes ; you only needed to look straight into them, to
feel that you saw to the bottom of a heart as good and true
as ever throbbed in woman's bosom. So much has been
said and sung of beautiful young girls, why don't somebody
wake up to the beauty of old women ? If any want to get
up an inspiration under this head, we refer them to our good
friend Rachel Halliday, just as she sits there in her little
rocking-chair. It had a turn for quacking and squeaking, —
that chair had, — either from having taken cold in early life,
or from some asthmatic affection, or perhaps from nervous
derangement ; but, as she gently swung backward and for-
ward, the chair kept up a kind of subdued "creechy crawchy,"
that would have been intolerable in any other chair. But old
Simeon Halliday often declared it was as good as any music
to him, and the children all avowed that they wouldn't miss
of hearing mother's chair for anything in the world. For
why ? for twenty years or more, nothing but loving words
and gentle moralities, and motherly loving kindness, had come
from that chair ; — head-aches and heart-aches innumerable
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 197
had been cured there, — difficulties spiritual and temporal
solved there, — all by one good, loving woman, God bless
" And so thee still thinks of going to Canada, Eliza?" she
said, as she was quietly looking over her peaches.
"Yes, ma'am," said Eliza, firmly. "I must go onward.
I dare not stop."
" And what '11 thee do, when thee gets there ? Thee must
think about that, my daughter."
"My daughter" came naturally from the lips of Rachel
Halliday ; for hers was just the face and form that made
" mother" seem the most natural word in the world.
Eliza's hands trembled, and some tears fell on her fine work;
but she answered, firmly,
"I shall do — anything I can find. I hope I can find
" Thee knows thee can stay here, as long as thee pleases,"
"0, thank you," said Eliza, "but" — she pointed to
Harry — " I can't sleep nights; I can't rest. Last night I
dreamed I saw that man coming into the yard," she said.
"Poor child!" said Rachel, wiping her eyes; "but thee
mustn't feel so. The Lord hath ordered it so that never
hath a fugitive been stolen from our village. I trust th
will not be the first."
The door here opened, and a little short, round, pincushion;
woman stood at the door, with a cheery, blooming face, like a
ripe apple. She was dressed, like Rachel, in sober 6 ray,
with the muslin folded neatly across her round, plump little
"Ruth Stedman," said Rachel, coming joyfully forward;
198 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR
"how is thee, Ruth?" she said, heartily taking both her
"Nicely," said Ruth, taking off her little drab bonnet, and
dusting it "with her handkerchief, displaying, as she did so, a
round little head, on which the Quaker cap sat with a sort of
jaunty air, despite all the stroking and patting of the small
fat hands, which were busily applied to arranging it. Certain
stray locks of decidedly curly hair, too, had escaped here and
there, and had to be coaxed and cajoled into their place again;
and then the new comer, who might have been five-and-
twenty, turned from the small looking-glass, before which
she had been making these arrangements, and looked well
pleased, — as most people who looked at her might have been,
— for she was decidedly a wholesome, whole-hearted, chir-
ruping little woman, as ever gladdened man's heart withal.
"Ruth, this friend is Eliza Harris; and this is the little
boy I told thee of."
"I am glad to see thee, Eliza, — very," said Ruth, shaking
hands, as if Eliza were an old friend she had long been expect-
ing ; " and this is thy dear boy, — I brought a cake for him,"
she said, holding out a little heart to the boy, who came up
gazing through his curls, and accepted it shyly.
"Where's thy baby, Ruth?" said Rachel.
"0, he's coming; but thy Mary caught him as I camo
in, and ran off with him to the barn, to show him to the
At this moment, the door opened, and Mary, an honest,
rosy-looking girl, with large brown eyes, like her mother's,
came in with the baby.
" Ah ! ha ! " said Rachel, coming up, and taking the great,
white, fat fellow in her arms ; " how good he looks, and how
he does grow !"
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. i99
"To be sure, lie does," said little bustling Ruth iA she
took the child, and began taking off a little blue si'ik hood,
and various layers and wrappers of outer garments ; and
having given a twitch here, and a pull there, and variously
adjusted and arranged him, and kissed him heartily, she set
him on the floor to collect his thoughts. Baby seemed quite
used to this mode of proceeding, for he put his thumb in his
mouth (as if it were quite a thing of course), and seemed
soon absorbed in his own reflections, while the mother seated
herself, and taking out a long stocking of mixed blue and
white yarn, began to knit with briskness.
" Mary, thee 'd better fill the kettle, hadn't thee?" gently
suggested the mother.
Mary took the kettle to the well, and soon reappearing,
placed it over the stove, where it was soon purring and steam-
ing, a sort of censer of hospitality and good cheer. The
peaches, moreover, in obedience to a few gentle whispers from
Rachel, were soon deposited, by the same hand, in a stew-pan
over the fire.
Rachel now took down a snowy moulding-board, and, tying
on an apron, proceeded quietly to making up some biscuits,
first saying to Mary, — " Mary, had n't thee better tell John
to get a chicken ready ?" and Mary disappeared accordingly.
" And how is Abigail Peters?" said Rachel, as she went
on with her biscuits.
" 0. she 's better," said Ruth; "I was in, this morning;
made the bed, tidied up the house. Leah Hills went in, this
afternoon, and baked bread and pies enough to last some days
and I engaged to go back to get her up, this evening."
"I will go in to-morrow, and do any cleaning there may
be, and look over the mending," said Rachel.
"Ah ! that is well." said Ruth. "I 've heard." she added,
200 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
"that Hannah Stanwood is sick. John was up there, last
night, — I must go there to-morrow."
11 John can come in here to his meals, if thee needs to stay
all day," suggested Rachel.
" Thank thee, Rachel; will see, to-morrow; but, here comes
Simeon Halliday, a tall, straight, muscular man, in drab
coat and pantaloons, and broad-brimmed hat, now entered.
'•How is thee, Ruth?" he said, warmly, as he spread
his broad open hand for her little fat palm; "and how is
" ! John is well, and all the rest of our folks," said
" Any news, father ?" said Rachel, as she was putting her
biscuits into the oven.
"Peter Stebbins told me that they should be along to-night,
with friends" said Simeon, significantly, as he was washing
his hands at a neat sink, in a little back porch.
" Indeed ! " said Rachel, looking thoughtfully, and glancing
"Did thee say thy name was Harris?" said Simeon to
Eliza, as he reentered.
Rachel glanced quickly at her husband, as Eliza tremu-
lously answered "yes;" her fears, ever uppermost, suggest-
ing that possibly there might be advertisements out for her.
" Mother ! " said Simeon, standing in the porch, and calling
" What does thee want, father ?" said Rachel, rubbing her
floury hands, as she went into the porch.
" This child's husband is in the settlement, and will be here
to-night," said Simeon.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 201
"Now, thee doesn't say that, father?" said Rachel, all
her face radiant with joy.
" It 's really true. Peter was down yesterday, with the
wagon, to the other stand, and there he found an old woman
and two men ; and one said his name was George Harris ;
and, from what he told of his history, I am certain who he is.
lie is a bright, likely fellow, too."
" Shall we tell her now? " said Simeon.
" Let 's tell Ruth," said Rachel. " Here, Ruth, — come
Ruth laid down her knitting-work, and was in the back
porch in a moment.
" Ruth, what does thee think ? " said Rachel. "Father
says Eliza's husband is in the last company, and will be here
A burst of joy from the little Quakeress interrupted the
3peech. She gave such a bound from the floor, as she
clapped her little hands, that two stray curls fell from under
her Quaker cap, and lay brightly on her white neckerchief.
" Hush thee, dear ! " said Rachel, gently ; " hush, Ruth !
Tell us, shall we tell her now? "
"Now! to be sure, — this very minute. Why, now,
suppose 'twas my John, how should I feel? Do tell her,
"Thee uses thyself only to learn how to love thy neighbor,
Ruth," said Simeon, looking, with a beaming face, on Ruth.
"To be sure. Isn't it what we are made for? If I
did n't love John and the baby, I should not know how to feel
for her. Come, now, do tell her, — do ! " and she laid her
hands persuasively on Rachel's arm. "Take her into thy
bed-room, there, and let me fry the chicken while thee does
202 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OB,
Rachel came out into the kitchen, where Eliza was sewing,
and opening the door of a small bed-room, said, gently,
" Come in here with me, my daughter ; I have news to tell
The blood flushed in Eliza's pale face ; she rose, trembling
with nervous anxiety, and looked towards her boy.
"JSTo, no," said little Ruth, darting up, and seizing her
hands. " Never thee fear ; it 's good news, Eliza, — go in, go
in ! " And she gently pushed her to the door, which closed
after her ; and then, turning round, she caught little Harry
in her arms, and began kissing him.
" Thee '11 see thy father, little one. Does thee know it?
Thy father is coming," she said, over and over again, as the
boy looked wonderingly at her.
Meanwhile, within the door, another scene was going on.
Rachel Halliday drew Eliza toward her, and said, " The Lord
hath had mercy on thee, daughter ; thy husband hath escaped
from the house of bondage."
The blood flushed to Eliza's cheek in a sudden glow, and
went back to her heart with as sudden a rush. She sat down,
pale and faint.
"Have courage, child," said Rachel, laying her hand on
her head. "He is among friends, who will bring him here
"To-night!" Eliza repeated, "to-night!" The words
lost all meaning to her ; her head was dreamy and confused ;
all was mist for a moment.
When she awoke, she found herself snugly tucked up on
the bed, with a blanket over her, and little Ruth rubbing her
hands with camphor. She opened her eye? in a state of
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 203
dreamy, delicious languor, such as one has who has long been
bearing a heavy load, and now feels it gone, and would rest.
The tension of the nerves, which had never ceased a moment
since the first hour of her flight, had given way, and a strange
feeling of security and rest came over her ; and, as she lay,
with her large, dark eyes open, she followed, as in a quiet
dream, the motions of those about her. She saw the doer
open into the other room ; saw the supper-table, with its snowy
cloth ; heard the dreamy murmur of the singing tea-kettle ,
saw Ruth tripping backward and forward, with plates of cake
and saucers of preserves, and ever and anon stopping to put a
cake into Harry's hand, or pat his head, or twine his long
curls round her snowy fingers. She saw the ample, motherly
form of Rachel, as she ever and anon came to the bed-side,
and smoothed and arranged something about the bed-clothes,
and gave a tuck here and there, by way of expressing her
good-will ; and was conscious of a kind of sunshine beaming
down upon her from her large, clear, brown eyes. She saw
Ruth's husband come in, — saw her fly up to him, and
commence whispering very earnestly, ever and anon, with
impressive gesture, pointing her little finger toward the
room. She saw her, with the baby in her arms, sitting down
to tea ; she saw them all at table, and little Harry in a high
chair, under the shadow of Rachel's ample wing; there were
low murmurs of talk, gentle tinkling of tea-spoons, and
musical clatter of cups and saucers, and all mingled in a
delightful dream of rest ; and Eliza slept, as she had not slept
before, since the fearful midnight hour when she had taken
her child and fled through the frosty star-light.
She dreamed of a beautiful country, — a land, it seemed to
her, of rest, — green shores, pleasant islands, and beautifully
glittering water ; and there, in a house which kind voices told
204 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
her was a home, she saw her boy playing, a free and happy
child. She heard her husband's footsteps; she felt him
coming nearer ; his arms were around her, his tears falling on
her face, and she awoke ! It was no dream. The daylight
had long faded; her child lay calmly sleeping by her side; a
candle was burning dimly on the stand, and her husband wag
sobbing by her pillow.
The next morning was a cheerful one at the Quaker house
" Mother " was up betimes, and surrounded by busy girls
and boys, whom we had scarce time to introduce to our
readers yesterday, and who all moved obediently to Rachel's
gentle " Thee had better," or more gentle "Hadn't thee
better 1 " in the work of getting breakfast ; for a breakfast in
the luxurious valleys of Indiana is a thing complicated and
multiform, and, like picking up the rose-leaves and trimming
the bushes in Paradise, asking other hands than those of the
original mother. While, therefore, John ran to the spring for
fresh water, and Simeon the second sifted meal for corn-
cakes, and Mary ground coffee, Rachel moved gently and
quietly about, making biscuits, cutting up chicken, and
diffusing a sort of sunny radiance over the whole proceeding
generally. If there was any danger of friction or collision
from the ill-regulated zeal of so many young operators, her
gentle " Come ! come ! " or "I would n't, now," was quite
sufficient to allay the difficulty. Bards have written of the
cestus of Yenus, that turned the heads of all the world in
successive generations. We had rather, for our part, have
the cestus of Rachel Halliday, that kept heads from being
turned, and made everything go on harmoniously. We think
it is more suited to our modern days, decidedly.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 205
While all other preparations were going on, Simeon the
elder stood in his shirt-sleeves before a little looking-glass in
the corner, engaged in the anti-patriarchal operation of
shaving. Everything went on so sociably, so quietly, so
harmoniously, in the great kitchen, — it seemed so pleasant to
every one to do just what they were doing, there was such an
atmosphere of mutual confidence and good fellowship every-
where, — even the knives and forks had a social clatter as they
went on to the table ; and the chicken and ham had a cheerful
and joyous fizzle in the pan, as if they rather enjoyed being
cooked than otherwise ; — and when George and Eliza and little
Barry came out, they met such a hearty, rejoicing welcome,
no wonder it seemed to them like a dream.
At last, they were all seated at breakfast, while Mary stood
at the stove, baking griddle-cakes, which, as they gained the
true exact golden-brown tint of perfection, were transferred
quite handily to the table.
Rachel never looked so truly and benignly happy as at the
head of her table. There was so much motherliness and
full-heartedness even in the way she passed a plate of cakes
or poured a cup of coffee, that it seemed to put a spirit into
the food and drink she offered.
It was the first time that ever George had sat down on
equal terms at any white man's table ; and he sat down, at
first, with some constraint and awkwardness; but they all
exhaled and went off like fog, in the genial morning rays cf
this simple, overflowing kindness.
This, indeed, was a home, — home, — a word that George
had never yet known a meaning for ; and a belief in God, and
trust in his providence, began to encircle his heart, as, with a
golden cloud of protection and confidence, dark, misanthropic,
pining, atheistic doubts, and fierce despair, melted away before
206 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
the light of a living Gospel, breathed in living faces, preached
by a thousand unconscious acts of love and good will, which,
like the cup of cold water given in the name of a disciple,
shall never lose their reward.
" Father, what if thee should get found out again ? " said
Simeon second, as he buttered his cake.
" I should "pay my fine," said Simeon, quietly,
"But what if they put thee in prison 1 "
"Couldn't thee and mother manage the farm**'' 1 said
" Mother can do almost everything," said the boy. " But
is n't it a shame to make such laws ? "
" Thee mustn't speak evil of thy rulers, Simeon," said his
father, gravely. " The Lord only gives us our worldly goods
that we may do justice and mercy ; if our rulers require a
price of us for it, we must deliver it up."
"Well, I hate those old slaveholders ! " said the boy, who
felt as unchristian as became any modern reformer.
" I am surprised at thee, son," said Simeon ; "thy mother
never taught thee so. I would do even the same for the
slaveholder as for the slave, if the Lord brought him to my
loor in affliction."
Simeon second blushed scarlet ; but his mother only
jmiled, and said, "Simeon is my good boy; he will grow
^)lder, by and by, and then he will be like his father."
' ' I hope, my good sir, that you are not exposed to any
difficulty on our account," said George, anxiously.
' ' Fear nothing, George, for therefore are we sent into the
world. If we would not meet trouble for a good cause, we
were not worthy of our name."
" But, for me," said George, " I could not bear it."
" Fear not, then, friend George ; it is not for thee, but for
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 207
God and man, we do it," said Simeon. " And now thou
must lie by quietly this day, and to-night, at ten o'clock,
Phineas Fletcher will carry thee onward to the next stand, —
thee and the rest of thy company. The pursuers are hard
after thee ; we must not delay."
" If that is the case, why wait till evening 1 " said George.
" Thou art safe here by daylight, for every one in the set-
tlement is a Friend, and all are watching. It has been found
safer to travel by night."
" A young star ! which shone
O'er life — too sweet an image for such glass !
A lovely being, scarcely formed or moulded ;
A rose with all its sweetest leaves yet folded."
The Mississippi ! How, as by an enchanted wand, have
its scenes been changed, since Chateaubriand wrote his prose-
poetic description of it, as z. river of mighty, unbroken soli-
tudes, rolling amid undreamed wonders of vegetable and
But, as in an hour, this river of dreams and wiM romance
has emerged to a reality scarcely less visionary and splendid.
What other river of the world bears on its bosom to the ocean
the wealth and enterprise of such another country 7 — a
country whose products embrace all between the tropics and
the poles ! Those turbid waters, hurrying, foaming, tearing
along, an apt resemblance of that headlong tide of business
which is poured along its wave by a race more vehement and
20B UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: 0%
energetic than any the old world ever saw. Ah f would that
the j did not also bear along a more fearful freight, — the
tears of the oppressed, the sighs of the helpless, the bitter
prayers of poor, ignorant hearts to an unknown God — un-
known, unseen and silent, but who will yet " come out of his
place to save all the poor of the earth ! "
The slanting light of the setting sun quivers on the sea-like
expanse of the river ; the shivery canes, and the tall, dark
cypress, hung with wreaths of dark, funereal moss, glow in
the golden ray, as the heavily-laden steamboat marches
Piled with cotton-bales, from many a plantation, up over
deck and sides, till she seems in the distance a square, massive
block of gray, she moves heavily onward to the nearing mart.
We must look some time among its crowded decks before we
shall find again our humble friend Tom. High on the upper
deck, in a little nook among the everywhere predominant
cotton-bales, at last we may find him.
Partly from confidence inspired by Mr. Shelby's represent-
ations, and partly from the remarkably inoffensive and quiet
character of the man, Tom had insensibly won his way far
into the confidence even of such a man as Haley.
At first he had watched him narrowly through the day.
and never allowed him to sleep at night unfettered ; but the
uncomplaining patience and apparent contentment of Tom's
manner led him gradually to discontinue these restraints, and
for some time Tom had enjoyed a sort of parole of honor,
being permitted to come and go freely where he pleased on
Ever quiet and obliging, and more than ready to lend a
hand in every emergency which occurred among the workmen
below, he had won the good opinion of all the hands, and
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 209
spent many hours in helping them with as hearty a good will
as ever he worked on a Kentucky farm.
When there seemed to be nothing for him to do, he would
climb to a nook among the cotton-bales of the upper deck, and
busy himself In studying over his Bible, — and it is there we
see him now.
For a hundred or more miles above New Orleans, the river
J3 higher than the surrounding country, and rolls its tremen-
dous volume between massive levees twenty feet in height.
The traveller from the deck of the steamer, a3 from some
floating castle top, overlooks the whole country for miles and
miies around. Tom, therefore, had spread out full before him,
in plantation after plantation, a map of the life to which ho
He saw the distant slaves at their toil ; he saw afar their
villages of huts gleaming out in long rows on many a planta-
tion, distant from the stately mansions and pleasure-grounds
of the master ; — and as the moving picture passed on, his
poor, foolish heart would be turning backward to the Ken-
tucky farm, with its old shadowy beeches, — to the master's
house, with its wide, cool halls, and, near by, the little cabin,
overgrown with the multiflora and bignonia. There he seemed
to see familiar faces of comrades, who had grown up with him
from infancy ; he saw his busy wife, bustling in her prepara-
tions for his evening meals ; he heard the merry laugh of
his bo}'S at their play, and the chirrup of the baby at his
knee ; and then, with a start, all faded, and he saw again
the cane-brakes and cypresses and gliding plantations, and
heard again the creaking and groaning of the machinery, all
telling him too plainly that all that phase of life had gone by
In such a case, you write to your wife, and send messages
210 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
to your children ; but Tom could not write, — the mail for him
had no existence, and the gulf of separation was unbridged
by even a friendly word or signal.
Is it strange, then, that some tears fall on the pages of his
Bible, as he lays it on the cotton-bale, and, with patient
finger, threading his slow way from word to word, traces out
its promises ? Having learned late in life, Tom was but a
slow reader, and passed on laboriously from verse to verse.
Fortunate for him was it that the book he was intent on was
one which slow reading cannot injure, — nay, one whose
words, like ingots of gold, seem often to need to be weighed
separately, that the mind may take in their priceless value.
Let us follow him a moment, as, pointing to each word, and
pronouncing each half aloud, he reads,
1 ' Let — not — your — heart — be — troubled. In — my —
Father' s — house — are — many — mansions. I — go — to —
prepare — a — place — for — you."
Cicero, when he buried his darling and only daughter, had
a heart as full of honest grief as poor Tom's, — perhaps no
fuller, for both were only men ; — but Cicero could pause over
no such sublime words of hope, and look to no such future
reunion ; and if he had seen them, ten to one he would not
have believed, — he must fill his head first with a thousand
questions of authenticity of manuscript, and correctness of
translation. But, to poor Tom, there it lay, just what he
needed, so evidently true and divine that the possibility of a
question never entered his simple head. It must be true ;
for, if not true, how could he live 1
As for Tom's Bible, though it had no annotations and helps \
in margin from learned commentators, still it had been embel-
lished with certain way-marks and guide-boards of Tom's own
invention, and which helped him more than the most learned
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 211
expositions could have done. It had been his custom to get
the Bible read to him by his master's children, in particular
by young Master George ; and, as they read, he would desig-
nate, by bold, strong marks and dashes, with pen and ink, the
passages which more particularly gratified his ear or affected
his heart. His Bible was thus marked through, from one end
to the other, with a variety of styles and designations ; SO he
could in a moment seize upon his favorite passages, without
the labor of spelling out what lay between them ; — and while
it lay there before him, every passage breathing of some old
home scene, and recalling some past enjoyment, his Bible
seemed to him all of this life that remained, as well as the
promise of a future one.
Among the passengers on the boat was a y^ung gentleman
of fortune and family, resident in New Orleans, who bore the
name of St. Clare. He had with him a daughter between
five and six years of age, together with a lady who seemed to
claim relationship to both, and to have the little one especially
under her charge.
Tom had often caught glimpses of this little girl, — for she
was one of those busy, tripping creatures, that can be no more
contained in one place than a sunbeam or a summer breeze, —
nor was she one that, once seen, could be easily forgotten.
Her form was the perfection of childish beauty, without its
usual chubbiness and squareness of outline. There was about
it an undulating and aerial grace, such as one might dream of
for some mythic and allegorical being. Her face was remark-
able less for its perfect beauty of feature than for a singular
and dreamy earnestness of expression, which made the ideal
start when they looked at her, and by which the dullest and
most literal were impressed, without exactly knowing xfhy.
The shape of her head and the turn of her neck and bust: waa
212 UNCLE tom's cabin : OR,
peculiarly noble, and the long golden-brown hair that floated
like a cloud around it, the deep spiritual gravity of her violet
blue eyes, shaded by heavy fringes of golden brown, — all
marked her out from other children, and made every one turn
and look after her, as she glided hither and thither on the boat.
Nevertheless, the little one was not what you would have
called either a grave child or a sad one. On the contrary, an
airy and innocent playfulness seemed to flicker like the shadow
of summer leaves over her childish face, and around her buoy-
ant figure. She was always in motion, always with a half
smile on her rosy mouth, flying hither and thither, with an
undulating and cloud-like tread, singing to herself as she
moved as in a happy dream. Her father and female guardian
were incessantly busy in pursuit of her, — but, when caught,
she melted from them again like a summer cloud ; and as no
word of chiding or reproof ever fell on her ear for whatever she
chose to do, she pursued her own way all over the boat. Always
dressed in white, she seemed to move like a shadow through
all sorts of places, without contracting spot or stain ; and
there was not a corner or nook, above or below, where those
fairy footsteps had not glided, and that visionary golden head,
with its deep blue eyes, fleeted along.
The fireman, as he looked up from his sweaty toil, some-
times found those eyes looking wonderingly into the raging
depths of the furnace, and fearfully and pityingly at him, as
if she thought him in some dreadful danger. Anon the
steersman at the wheel paused and smiled, as the picture-like
head gleamed through the window of the round house, and in j
a moment was gone again. A thousand times a day rough
voices blessed her, and smiles of unwonted softness stole over
hard faces, as she passed ; and when she tripped fearlessly
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 213
over dangerous places, rough, sooty hands were stretched
involuntarily out to save her, and smooth her path.
Tom, who had the soft, impressible nature of his kindly
race, ever yearning toward the simple and childlike, watched
the little creature with daily increasing interest. To him
she seemed something almost divine : and whenever her golden
head and deep blue eyes peered out upon him from behind
some dusky cotton-bale, or looked down upon him over some
ridge of packages, he half believed that he saw one of the
angels stepped out of his New Testament.
Often and often she walked mournfully round the place
where Haley's gang of men and women sat in their chains.
She would glide in among them, and look at them with an air
of perplexed and sorrowful earnestness ; and sometimes she
would lift their chains with her slender hands, an* 3 then sigh
wofully, as she glided away. Several times she appeared
suddenly among them, with her hands full of candy, nuts,
and oranges, which she would distribute joyfully to them, and
then be gone again.
Tom watched the little lady a great deal, before he ventured'
on any overtures towards acquaintanceship. He knew an
abundance of simple acts to propitiate and invite the approach-
es of the little people, and he resolved to play his part right
skilfully. He could cut cunning little baskets out of cherry-
stones, could make grotesque faces on hickory-nuts, or odd-
jumping figures out of elder-pith, and he was a very Pan in
£he manufacture of whistles of all sizes and sorts. His pockets
were full of miscellaneous articles of attraction, which he had
f hoarded in days of old for his master's children, and which he
now produced, with commendable prudence and economy, one
by one, as overtures for acquaintance and friendship.
The little one was shy, for all her busy interest in every-
214 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : ( n,
thing going on, and it was not easy to tame her. For a while,
she would perch like a canary-bird on some box or package
near Tom, while busy in the little arts afore-named, and take
from him, with a kind of grave bashfulness, the little articles
he offered. But at last they got on quite confidential terms.
" Vfhat 's little missy's name ?" said Tom, at last, when he
thought matters were ripe to push such an inquiry.
" Evangeline St. Clare," said the little one, "though papa
and everybody else call me Eva. Now, what 's your
" My name 's Tom ; the little chii'en used to call me Uncle
Tom, way back thar in Kentuck."
"Then I mean to call you Uncle Tom, because, you see,
I like you," said Eva. " So, Uncle Tom, where are you
" I don't know, Miss Eva."
"Don't know?" said Eva.
" No. I am going to be sold to somebody. I don't know
" My papa can buy you," said Eva, quickly ; " and if he
buys you, you will have good times. I mean to ask him to,
this very day."
" Thank you, my little lady," said Tom.
The boat here stopped at a small landing to take in wood,
and Eva, hearing her father's voice, bounded nimbly away.
Tom rose up, and went forward to offer his service in wooding,
and soon was busy among the hands.
Eva and her father were standing together by the railings
to see the boat start from the landing-place, the wheel had^
made two or three revolutions in the water, when, by some
sudden movement, the little one suddenly lost her balance, and
fell sheer over the side of the boat into the water. Her father,
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 215
scarce knowing what lie did, was plunging in after her, but
was held back by some behind him, who saw that more efficient
aid had followed his child.
Tom was standing just under her on the lower deck, as she
fell. He saw her strike the water, and sink, and was after
her in a moment. A broad-chested, strong-armed fellow, it
was nothing for him to keep afloat in the water, till, in a
moment or two, the child rose to the surface, and he caught
her in his arms, and, swimming with her to the boat-side,
handed her up, all dripping, to the grasp of hundreds of
hands, which, as if they had all belonged to one man, were
stretched eagerly out to receive her. A few moments more,
and her father bore her, dripping and senseless, to the ladies'
cabin, where, as is usual in cases of the kind, there ensued a
very well-meaning and kind-hearted strife among the female
occupants generally, as to who should do the most things to
make a disturbance, and to hinder her recovery in every way
It was a sultry, close day, the „next day, as the steamer
drew near to New Orleans. A general bustle of expectation
and preparation was spread through the boat ; in the cabin,
one and another were gathering their things together, and
arranging them, preparatory to going ashore. The steward
and chambermaid, and all, were busily engaged in cleaning,
furbishing, and arranging the splendid boat v preparatory to a
On the lower deck sat our friend Tom, with his arms folded,
and anxiously, from time to time, turning his eyes towards a
group on the other side of the boat.
There stood the fair Evangeline, a little paler than the day
before, but otherwise exhibiting no traces of the accident
216 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
which had befallen her. A graceful, elegantly-formed young
man stood by her, carelessly leaning one elbow on a bale of
cotton, while a large pocket-book lay open before him. It
was quite evident, at a glance, that the gentleman was Eva's
father. There was the same noble cast of head, the same
large blue eyes, the same golden-brown hair ; yet the expres-
sion was wholly different. In the large, clear blue eyes,
though in form and color exactly similar, there was wanting
that misty, dreamy depth of expression ; all was clear, bold,
and bright,, but with a light wholly of this world : the beauti-
fully cut mouth had a proud and somewhat sarcastic expres-
sion, while an air of free-and-easy superiority sat not ungrace-
fully in every turn and movement of his fine form. He was
listening, with a good-humored, negligent air, half comic, half
contemptuous, to Haley, who was very volubly expatiating
on the quality of the article for which they were bargaining.
" All the moral and Christian virtues bound in black
morocco, complete!" he said, when Haley had finished.
"Well, now, my good fellow, what's the damage, as they
say in Kentucky ; in shor^t, what 's to be paid out for this
business ? How much are you going to cheat me, now ? Out
"Wal," said Haley, "if I should say thirteen hundred
dollars for that ar fellow, I shouldn't but just save myself;
I shouldn't, now, re'ly."
"Poor fellow ! " said the young man, fixing his keen, mock-
ing blue eye on him ; " but I suppose you 'd let me have him
for that, out of a particular regard for me."
"Well, the young lady here seems to be sot on him, and
" ! certainly, there 's a call on your benevolence, my
friend. Now, as a matter of Christian charity, how cheap
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 217
could you afford to let him go, to oblige a young lady that 's
particular sot on him ?"
" Wal, now, just think on 't," said the trader ; " just look
at them limbs, — broad-chested, strong as a horse. Look at
his head ; them high forracls allays shows calculatin niggers,
that '11 do any kind o' thing. I we marked that ar. Now,
a nio;o;er of that ar heft and build is worth considerable, iust,
as you may say, for his body, supposin he 's stupid; but come
to put in his calculatin faculties, and them which I can show
he has oncommon, why, of course, it makes him come higher.
Why, that ar fellow managed his master's whole farm. He
has a strornary talent for business."
" Bad, bad, very bad ; knows altogether too much !" said
the young man, with the same mocking smile playing about
his mouth. "Never will do, in the world. Your smart fel-
lows are always running off, stealing horses, and raising the
devil generally. I think you '11 have to take off a couple of
hundred for his smartness."
" Wal, there might be something in that ar, if it warnt for
his character ; but I can show recommends from his master
and others, to prove he is one of your real pious, — the most
humble, prayin, pious crittur ye ever did see. Why, he 's
been called a preacher in them parts he came from."
"And I might use him for a family chaplain, possibly,"
added the young man, dryly. " That 's quite an idea. Rel i -
gion is a remarkably scarce article at our house/'
"You're joking, now."
" How do you know I am ? Did n't you just warrant him
for a preacher ? Has he been examined by any synod or
council? Come, hand over your papers."
If the trader had not been sure, by a certain good-humored
twinkle in the large blue eye, that all this banter was sure,
218 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR.
in the long run, to turn out a cash concern, he might have
been somewhat out of patience ; as it was, he laid down a
greasy pocket-book on the cotton-bales, and began anxiously
studying over certain papers in it, the young man standing
by. the while, looking down on him with an air of careless,
" Papa, do buy him ! it 's no matter what you pay," whis-
pered Eva, softly, getting up on a package, and putting her
arm around her father's neck. " You have money enough, I
know, r want him. ' '
•' ' What for, pussy ? Are you going to use him for a rat-
tle-box, or a rocking-horse, or what? 7 '
" I want to make him happy."
"An original reason, certainly."
Here the trader handed up a certificate, signed by Mr.
Shelby, which the young man took with the tips of his long
fingers, and glanced over carelessly.
•'A gentlemanly hand," he said, "and well spelt, too.
Well, now, but I 'm not sure, after all. about this religion,"
said he. the old wicked expression returning to his eye; "the
country is almost ruined with pious white people : such pious
politicians as we have just before elections, — such pious goings
on in all departments of church and state, that a fellow does
not know who '11 cheat him next. I don't know, either, about
religion's being up in the market, just now. I have not
looked in the papers lately, to see how it sells. How many
hundred dollars, now, do you put on for this religion?"
"You like to be a jokin, now," said the trader; "but,
then, there 's sense under all that ar. I know there 'I dif-
ferences in religion. Some kinds is mis'rable : there 's your
meetin pious; there 's your singin, roarin pious; them ar an't
no account, in black or white; — but these rayly is ; and I ; ve
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 219
seen it in niggers as often as any, your rail softly, quiet,
stiddy, honest, pious, that the hull world could n't tempt 'era
to do nothing that they thinks is wrong ; and ye see in this
letter what Tom's old master says about him."
"Now," said the young man, stooping gravely over his
book of bills, "if you can assure me that I really can buy
this kind of pious, and that it will be set down to my account
in the book up above, as something belonging to me, I
would n't care if I did go a little extra for it. How d' ye
"Wal, raily, I can't do that," said the trader. "I'm a
thinkin that every man '11 have to hang on Ins own hook, in
them ar quarters."
" Rather hard on a fellow that pays extra on religion, and
can't trade with it in the state where he wants it most, an't
it, now?" said the young man, who had been making out a
roll of bills while he was speaking. " There, count your
money, old boy!" he added, as he handed the roll to the
"All right," said Haley, his face beaming with delight;
and pulling out an old inkhorn, he proceeded to fill out a bill
of sale, which, in a few moments, he handed to the young
"I wonder, now, if I was divided up and inventoried,"
said the latter, as he ran over the paper, " how much I might
bring. Say so much for the shape of my head, so much for
a high forehead, so much for arms, and hands, and legs, and
then so much for education, learning, talent, honesty, reli-
gion ! Bless me ! there would be small charge on that last,
I 'in thinking. But come, Eva," he said ; and taking the
hand of his daughter, he stepped across the boat, and care-
lessly putting the tip of his finger under Tom's chin, said.
220 UNCLE TOM'S *CABIN : OR.
good-humoredly, "Look up, Torn, and see how you like your
Tom looked up. It was not in nature to look into that
gny, young, handsome face, without a feeling of pleasure ; and
Tcm felt the tears start in his eyes as he said, heartily, "God
bless you, Mas'r ! "
"Well. I hope he will. What's your name? Tom?
Quite as likely to do it for your asking as mine, from all
accounts. Can you drive horses, Tom ?"
"I've been allays used to horses," said Tom. "Mas'r
Shelby raised heaps on 'em."
"Well, I think I shall put you in coachy, on condition
that you won't be drunk more than once a week, unless in
cases of emergency, Tom."
Tom looked surprised, and rather hurt, and said, " I never
" I 've heard that story before, Tom ; but then we '11 see.
It will be a special accommodation to all concerned, if you
don't. Never mind, my boy," he added, good-humoredly,
seeing Tom still looked grave ; "I don't doubt you mean to
"I sartin do, Mas'r," said Tom.
"And you shall have good times," said Eva. "Papa is
very good to everybody, only he always will laugh at them."
" Papa is much obliged to you for his recommendation,"
said St Clare, laughing, as he turned on his heel and walked
N% THE LOWLY. 22]
OP tom's new master, and various other matters.
Since the thread of our humble hero's life has now becom?
interwoven with that of higher ones, it is- necessary to give
some brief introduction to them.
Augustine St. .Clare was the son of a wealthy planter of
Louisiana. The family had its origin in Canada. Of two
brothers, very similar in temperament and character, one ha<*
settled on a flourishing farm in Vermont, and the other became
an opulent planter in Louisiana. The mother of Augustin
was a Huguenot French lady, whose family had emigrated to
Louisiana during the days of its early settlement. Augus
tine and another brother were the only children of then
parents. Having inherited from his mother an exceeding-
delicacy of constitution, he was, at the instance of physicians
during many years of his boyhood, sent to the care of hi-
uncle in Vermont, in order that his constitution might be
strengthened by the cold of a more bracing climate.
In childhood, he was remarkable for an extreme and marked
sensitiveness of character, more akin to the softness of woman
than the ordinary hardness of his own sex. Time, however,
overgrew this softness with the rough bark of manhood, and
but few knew how living and fresh it still lay at the core.
His talents were of the very first order, although his mind
showed a preference always for the ideal and the aesthetic,
and there was about him that repugnance to the actual busi-
ness of life which is the common result of this balance of thf
222 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: DR,
faculties. .Soon after the completion of his college course, his
whole nature was kindled into one intense and passionate
effervescence of romantic passion. His hour came, -^ the hour
that comes only once ; his star rose in the horizon, — that
star that rises so often in vain, to be remembered only as a
thing of dreams ; and it rose for him in vain. To drop the
figure, — ho saw and won the love of a high-minded and
beautiful woman, in one of the northern states, and they were
affianced. He returned south to make arrangements for their
marriage, when, most unexpectedly, his letters were returned
to him by mail, with a short note from her guardian, stating
to him that ere this reached him the lady would be the wife
of another. Stung to madness, he vainly hoped, as many
another has done, to fling the whole thing from his heart by
one desperate effort. Too proud to supplicate or seek explan-
ation, he threw himself at once into a whirl of fashionable
society, and iu a fortnight from the time of the fatal letter
was the accepted lover of the reigning belle of the season; and
as soon as arrangements could be made, he became the hus-
band of a fine figure, a pair of bright dark eyes, and a hun-
dre thousand dollars ; and, of course, everybody thought him
a happy fellow.
The married couple were enjoying their honeymoon, and
entertaining a brilliant circle of friends in their splendid villa,
near Lake Pontyhartrain, when, one day, a letter was brought
to him in that well-remembered writing. It was handed to
him while he was in full tide of gay and successful conversa-
tion, in a whole room-full of company. He turned deadly
pale when he saw the writing, but still preserved his com-
posure, and finished the playful warfare of badinage which
he was at the moment carrying on with a lady opposite ; and,
a short time after, was missed from the circle. In his room.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 223
alone, he opened and read the letter, now worse than idle and
useless to be read. It was from her, giving a long account
of a persecution to which she had been exposed by her guard-
ian^ family, to lead her to unite herself with their son : and
she related how, for a long time, his letters had ceased tG
arrive ; how she had written time and again, till she became
weary and doubtful ; how her health had failed under her
anxieties, and how, at last, she had discovered the whole fraud
which had been practised on them both. The letter ended
with expressions of hope and thankfulness, and professions of
undying affection, which were more bitter than death to the
unhappy young man. He wrote to her immediately :
' ' I have received yours, — but too late. I believed all I
heard. I was desperate. / am married, and all is over.
Only forget, — it is all that remains for either of us." v
And thus ended the whole romance and ideal of life for
Augustine St. Clare. But the real remained, — the real, like
the flat, bare, oozy tide-mud, when the blue sparkling wave,
with all its company of gliding boats and white-winged ships,
its music of oars and chiming waters, has gone clown, and
there it lies, flat; slimy, bare, — exceedingly real.
Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, and they die,
and that is the end of it ; and in a story this is very conven-
ient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes
life bright dies to us. There is a most busy and important
round of eating, drinking, dressing, walking, visiting, buying,
selling, talking, reading, and all that makes up what is com-
monly called living, yet to be gone through ; and this yet
remained to Augustine. Had his wife been a whole woman,
she might yet have done something — as woman can — to
mend the broken threads of life, and weave again into a tissue
of brightness. But Marie St. Clare could not even see that
224 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR
they had been broken. As before stated, she consisted of a
fine figure, a pair of splendid eyes, and a hundred thousand
dollars ; and none of these items were precisely the ones to
minister to a mind diseased.
When Augustine, pale as death, was found lying on the
sofa, and pleaded sudden sick-headache as the cause of his
distress, she recommended to him to smfill of hartshorn ; and
when the paleness and headache came on week after week,
she only said that she never thought Mr. St. Clare was
sickly ; but it seems he was very liable to sick-headaches,
and that it was a very unfortunate thing for her, because he
did n't enjoy going into company with her, and it seemed odd
to go so much alone, when they were just married. Augus-
tine was glad in his heart that he had married -so undiscern-
ing a woman ; but as the glosses and civilities of the honey-
moon wore away, he discovered that a beautiful young woman,
who has lived all her life to be caressed and waited on, might
prove quite a hard mistress in domestic life. Marie never
had possessed much capability of affection, or much sensibil-
ity, and the little that she had, had been merged into a most
intense and unconscious selfishness ; a selfishness the more
hopeless, from its quiet obtuseness, its utter ignorance of any
claims but her own. From her infancy, she had been sur-
rounded with servants, who lived only to study her caprices ;
the idea that they had either feelings or rights had never
dawned upon her, even in distant perspective. Her father,
whose only child she had been, had never denied her anything
that lay within the compass of human possibility ; and when
she entered life, beautiful, accomplished, and an heiress, she
had, of course, all the eligibles and non-eligibles of the other
sex sighing at her feet, and she had no doubt that Augustine
was a most fortunate man in having obtained her. It is a
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 225
great mistake to suppose that a woman with no heart will be
an easy creditor in the exchange of affection. There is not
on earth a more merciless exactor of love from others than a
thoroughly selfish woman; and the more unlovely she grows,
the more jealously and scrupulously she exacts love, to the
uttermost farthing. When, therefore, St. Clare began to
drop off those gallantries and small attentions which flowed at
first through the habitude of courtship, he found his sultana
no way ready to resign her slave ; there were abundance of
tears, poutings, and small tempests, there were discontents,
pinings, upbraidings. St. Clare was good-natured and self-
indulgent, and sought to buy off with presents and flatteries ;
and when Marie became mother to a beautiful daughter, he
really felt awakened, for a time, to something like tenderness.
St. Clare's mother had been a woman of uncommon eleva-
tion and purity of character, and he gave to this child his
mother's name, fondly fancying f that she would prove a
reproduction of her image. The thing had been remarked
with petulant jealousy by his wife, and she regarded her
husband's absorbing devotion to the child with suspicion and
dislike ; all that was given to her seemed so much taken from
herself. From the time of the birth of this child, her health
gradually sunk. A life of constant inaction, bodily and
mental, — the friction of ceaseless ennui and discontent, united
to the ordinary weakness which attended the period of mater-
nity, — in course of a few years changed the blooming young
belle into a yellow, faded, sickly woman, whose time was
divided among a variety of fanciful diseases, and who con-
sidered herself, in every sense, the most ill-used and suffering
person in existence.
There was no end of her various complaints ; but her prin-
cipal forte appeared to lie in sick-headache, which sometimes
226 UNCLE tom's cabin : OK
would confine her to her room three days out of six. As, of
course, all family arrangements fell into the hands of servants,
St. Clare found his menage anything but comfortable. His
only daughter was exceedingly delicate, and he feared that,
with no one to look after her and attend to her, her health
and life might yet fall a sacrifice to her mother's inefficiency.
He had taken her with him on a tour to Vermont, and had
persuaded his cousin, Miss Ophelia St. Clare, to return witL
him to his southern residence ; and they are now returning
on this boat, where we have introduced them to our readers.
And now, while the distant domes and spires of New
Orleans rise to our view, there is yet time for an introduction
to Miss Ophelia.
Whoever has travelled in the New England States will
remember, in some cool village, the large farm-house,
with its clean-swept grassy yard, shaded by the dense and
massive foliage of the sugar maple ; * and remember the air of
order and stillness, of perpetuity and unchanging repose, that
seemed to breathe over the whole place. Nothing lost, or out
of order ; not a picket loose in the fence, not a particle of litter
in the turfy yard, with its clumps of lilac-bushes growing up
under the windows. Within, he will remember wide, clean
rooms, where nothing ever seems to be doing or going to be
done, where everything is once and forever rigidly in place,
and where all household arrangements move with the punc-
tual exactness of the old clock in the corner. In the family
" keeping-room," as it is termed, he will remember the staid
respectable old book-case, with its glass doors, where Rolling,
History, Milton's Paradise Lost, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Pro-
gress, and Scott's Family Bible, stand side by side in
decorous order, with multitudes of other books, equally
solemn and respectable. There are no servants in the house,
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 22?
but the lady in the snowy cap, with the spectacles, who sits
sewing every afternoon among her daughters, as if nothing
ever had been done, or were to be done, — she and her girls,
in some long-forgotten fore part of the day, "did up the
work" and for the rest of the time, probably, at all hours
when you would see them, it is " done up." The old kitchen
floor never seems stained or spotted; the tables, the chairs,
and the various cooking utensils, never seem deranged or dis-
ordered ; though three and sometimes four meals a day are
got there, though the family washing and ironing is there
perffc-med, and though pounds of butter and cheese are in
some silent and mysterious manner there brought into exist-
On such a farm, in such a house and family, Miss Ophelia
had spent a quiet existence of some forty-five years, when
her cousin invited her to visit his southern mansion. The
eldest of a large family, she was still considered by her father
and mother as one of "the children," and the proposal that she
should go to Orleans was a most momentous one to the family
circle. The old gray-headed father took down Morse's Atlas
out of the book-case, and looked out the exact latitude and
longitude ; and read Flint's Travels in the South and West, to
make up his own mind as to the nature of the country.
The good mother inquired, anxiously, " if Orleans wasn't
an awful wicked place," saying, "that it seemed to her most
equal to going to the Sandwich Islands, or anywhere among
It was known at the minister's, and at the doctor's, and at
Miss Peabody's milliner shop, that Ophelia St. Clare. was
"talking about" going away down to Orleans with her
cousin ; and of course the whole village could do no less than
help this very important process of talking about the matter.
228 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OH,
The minister, who inclined strongly to abolitionist views, was
quite doubtful whether such a step might not tend somewhat
to encourage the southerners in holding on to their slaves ;
whjle the doctor, who was a stanch colonizationist, inclined to
the opinion that Miss Ophelia ought to go, to show the
Orleans people that we don't think hardly of them, after all.
He was of opinion, in fact, that southern people needed
encouraging. When, however, the fact that she had resolved
to go was fully before the public mind, she was solemnly
invited out to tea by all her friends and neighbors for the
space of a fortnight, and her prospects and plans duljpcan-
vassed and inquired into. Miss Moseley, who came into the
house to help to do the dress-making, acquired daily acces-
sions of importance from the developments with regard to
Miss Ophelia's wardrobe which she had been enabled to
make. It was credibly ascertained that Squire Sinclare, as
his name was commonly contracted in the neighborhood, had
counted out fifty dollars, and given them to Miss Ophelia, and
told her to buy any clothes she thought best ; and that two
new silk dresses, and a bonnet, had been sent for from Boston.
As to the propriety of this extraordinary outlay, the public
mind was divided, — some affirming that it was well enough, all
things considered, for once in one's life, and others stoutly
affirming that the money had better have been sent to the
missionaries ; but all parties agreed that there had be 3n no
such parasol seen in those parts as had been sent on from
New York, and that she had one silk dress that might fairly
be trusted to stand alone, whatever might be said of its mis-
tress. There were credible rumors, also, of a hemstitched
pocket-handkerchief; and report even went so far as to state
that Miss Ophelia had one pocket-handkerchief with lace all
around it, — it was even added that it was worked in the
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 229
corners ; but this latter point -was never satisfactorily ascer-
tained, and remains, in fact, unsettled to this day.
Miss Ophelia, as you now behold her, stands before you, in
a very shining brown linen travelling-dresi, tall, square-
formed, and angular. Her face was thin, and rather sharp
in its outlines ; the lips compressed, like those of a person
who is in the habit of making up her mind definitely on all
subjects; while the keen, dark eyes had a peculiarly searching,
advised movement, and travelled over everything, as if they
were looking for something to take care of.
All^her movements were sharp, decided, and energetic ;
and, though she was never much of a talker, her words were
remarkably direct, and to the purpose, when she did speak.
In her habits, she was a living impersonation of order,
method, and exactness. In punctuality, she was as inevitable
as a clock, and as inexorable as a railroad engine ; and she
held in most decided contempt and abomination anything of a
The great sin of sins, in her eyes, — the sum of all evils, —
was expressed by one very common and important word in
her vocabulary — "shiftlessness." Her finale and ultimatum
of contempt consisted in a very emphatic pronunciation of the
word " shiftless ; " and by this she characterized all modes of
procedure which had not a direct and inevitable relation to
accomplishment of some purpose then definitely had in
mind. People who did nothing, or who did not know exactly
what they were going to do, or who did not take the most
direct way to accomplish what they set their hands to, were
objects of her entire contempt, — a contempt shown le#3
frequently by anything she said, than by a kind of stony
grimness, as if she scorned to say anything about the matter.
As to mental cultivation, — she had a clear, strong, active
280 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
mind, was well and thoroughly read in history and the older
English classics, and thought with great strength within cer-
tain narrow limits. Her theological tenets were all made up,
labelled in most positive and distinct forms, and put by, like
the bundles in her patch trunk; there were just so many of
them, and there were never to be any more. So, also, were her
ideas with regard to most matters of practical life, — such as
housekeeping in all its branches, and the various political
relations of her native village. And, underlaying all, deeper
than anything else, higher and broader, lay the strongest
principle of her being — conscientiousness. Nowhere fs con-
science so dominant and all-absorbing as with New England
women. It is the granite formation, which lies deepest, and
rises out, even to the tops of the highest mountains.
Miss Ophelia was the absolute bond-slave of the u ought. ^
Once make her certain that the " path of duty," as she com-
monly phrased it, lay in any given direction, and fire and
water could not keep her from it. She would walk straight
down into a well, or up to a loaded cannon's mouth, if she
were only quite sure that there the path lay. Her standard
of right was so high, so all-embracing, so minute, and making
so few concessions to human frailty, that, though she strove
with heroic ardor to reach it, she never actually did so, and
of course was burdened with a constant and often harassing
sense of deficiency ; — this gave a severe and somewhat gloomy
cast to her religious character.
But, how in the world can Miss Ophelia get along with
Augustine St. Clare, — gay, easy, unpunctual, unpractical,
sceptical, — in short, walking with impudent and nonchalant
freedom over every one of her most cherished habits and
To tell the truth, then, Miss Ophelia loved him. When a
LIFE AMONG TIIE LOWLY. 231
— — . — * ■ 1 , . i
boy, it had been hers to teach him his catechism, mend his
slothes, comb Ins hair, and bring him up generally in the way
he should go ; and her heart having a warm side to it,
Augustine had, as he usually did with most people, monopo-
lized a large share of it for himself, and therefore it was
that he succeeded very easily in persuading her that the
"path of duty" lay in the direction of New Orleans, and
that she must go with him to take care of Eva, and keep
everything from going to wreck and ruin during the frequent
illnesses of his wife. The idea of a house without anybody
to take care of it went to her heart; then she loved the
lovely little girl, as few could help doing ; and though she
regarded Augustine as very much of a heathen, yet she loved
him, laughed at his jokes, and forbore with his failings, to an
extent which those who knew him thought perfectly incredi-
ble. But what more or other is to be known of Miss
Ophelia our reader must discover by a personal acquaint-
There she is, sitting now in her state-room, surrounded by
admixed multitude of little and big carpet-bags, boxes,
baskets, each containing some separate responsibility which
she is tying, binding up, packing, or fastening, with a face of
"Now, Eva, have you kept count of your, things? Of
course you haven't, — children never do: there's the spotted
carpet-bag and the little blue band-box with your best bonnec,
— that 's two; then the India rubber satchel is three ; and my
tape and needle box is four ; and my band-box, five ; and
my collar -box, six; and that little hair trunk, seven. What
have you done with your sunshade ? Give it to me, and let
me put a paper round it, and tie it to my umbrella with my
shade; — there, now."
232 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR
c ' Wiry, aunt j, we are only going up home ; — what is the
use ? "
" To keep it nice, child ; people must take care of their
things, if they ever mean to have anything ; and now, Eva,
is your thimble put up? "
" Really, aunty, I don't know."
" Well, never mind; I'll look your box over, — : thimble,
wax, two spools, scissors, knife, tape-needle; all right, — put
it in here. What did you ever do, child, when you were
coming on with only your papa. I should have thought
you'd a lost everything you had."
"Well, aunty, I did lose a great many; and then, when
we stopped anywhere, papa would buy some more of what-
ever it was. w
" Mercy on us, child, — what a way ! "
" It was a very easy way, aunty," said Eva.
" It's a dreadful shiftless one," said aunty.
"Why, aunty, what '11 you do now?" said Eva; "that
trunk is too full to be shut down."
"It must shut down," said aunty, with the air of .a
general, as she squeezed the things in, and sprung upon the
lid; — still a little gap remained about the mouth of the
"Get up here, Eva!" said Miss Ophelia, courageously;
".what has been done can be done again. This trunk has
got to be shut and locked — there are no two ways about it."
And the trunk, intimidated, doubtless, by this resolute state-
v mcnt, gave in. The hasp snapped sharply in its hole, and
Miss Ophelia turned the key, and pocketed it in triumph.
" Now we 're ready. Where 's your papa ? I think it
time this baggage was set out. Do -look out, Eva, and see if
you see. your papa."
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 233
"0, yes, he 's down the other end of the gentlemen's
cabin, eating an orange. "
" He can't know how near we are coming," said aunty ;
" had n't you better run and speak to him ? "
" Papa never is in a hurry about anything," said Eva,
' ; and we haven't come to the landing. Do step on the
guards, aunty. Look ! there 's our house, up that street ! "
The boat now began, with heavy groans, like some vast, tired
monster, to prepare to push up among the multiplied steamers
at the levee. Eva joyously pointed out the various spires,
domes, and way-marks, by which she recognized her native
"Yes, yes, dear; very fine,*'' said Miss Ophelia. "But
mercy on us! the boat has stopped ! where is your father?"
And now ensued the usual turmoil of landing — waiters
running twenty ways at once — men tugging trunks, carpet-
bags, boxes — women anxiously calling to their children, and
everybody crowding in a dense mass to the plank towards the
Miss Ophelia seated herself resolutely on the lately van-
quished trunk, and marshalling all her goods and chattels in
fine military order, seemed resolved to defend them to the last,
" Shall I take your trunk, ma'am?" " Shall I take your
baggage?" "Let me 'tend to your baggage, Missis?"
( Shan't I carry out these yer, Missis ? " rained down upon
her unheeded. She sat with grim determination, upright
as a darning-needle stuck in a board, holding on her bundle
of umbrella and parasols, and replying with a determina-
tion that was enough to strike dismay even into a hack-
man, wondering to Eva, in each interval, "what upon earth
her papa could be thinking of; he couldn't have fallen over,
now, — but something must have happened:" — and just as she
234 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OK
had begun to work herself into a real distress, he came up, with
his usually careless motion, and giving Eva a quarter of the
orange he was eating, said,
" Well, Cousin Vermont, I suppose you are all ready."
"I've beei ready, waiting, nearly an hour," said Miss
Ophelia ; "I began to be really concerned about you."
" That's a clever fellow, now," said he. "Well, the car-
riage is waiting, and the crowd are now off, so that one can
walk out in a decent and Christian manner, and not be
pushed and shoved. Here," he added to a driver who
stood behind him, " take these things."
" I'll go and see to his putting them in," said Miss
" 0, pshaw, cousin, what 's the use ? " said St. Clare.
"Well, at any rate, I'll carry this, and this, and this,"
said Miss Ophelia, singling out three boxes and a small
"My dear Miss Vermont, positively, you mustn't come
the Green Mountains over us that way. You must adopt at
least a piece of a southern principle, and not walk out under
all that load. They '11 take you for a waiting- maid ; give
them to this fellow ; he '11 put them down as if they were
Miss Ophelia looked despairingly, as her cousin took all
her treasures from her, and rejoiced to find herself once more
in the carriage with them, in a state of preservation.
"Where's Tom?" said Eva.
"0, he's on the outside, Pussy. I'm going to take
Tom up to mother for a peace-offering, to make up for that
drunken fellow that upset the carriage."
1 0, Tom will make a splendid driver, I know," said
Eva ; " he'll never get drunk."
LIFE AMONtf THE LOWLY. 235
The carriage stopped in front of an ancient mansion, built
in that odd mixture of Spanish and French style, of which
there are specimens in some parts of New Orleans. It
was built in the Moorish fashion, — a square building enclos-
ing a court-yard, into which the carriage drove through an
arched gateway. The court, in the inside, had evidently been
arranged to gratify a picturesque and voluptuous ideality.
Wide galleries ran all around the four sides, whose Moorish
arches, slender pillars, and arabesque ornaments, carried the
mind back, as in a dream, to the reign of oriental romance in
Spain. In the middle of the court, a fountain threw high its
silvery water, falling in a never-ceasing spray into a marble
basin, fringed with a deep border of fragrant violets. The
water in the fountain, pellucid as crystal, was alive with
myriads of gold and silver fishes, twinkling and darting
through it like so many living jewels. Around the fountain
ran a walk, paved with a mosaic of pebbles, laid in various
fanciful patterns ; and this, again, was surrounded by turf,
smooth as green velvet, while a carriage-drive enclosed the
whole. Two large orange-trees, now fragrant with blossoms,
threw a delicious shade ; and, ranged in a circle round upon
the turf, were marble vases of arabesque sculpture, containing
the choicest flowering plants of the tropics. Huge pomegran-
ate trees, with their glossy leaves and flame-colored flowers,
dark-leaved Arabian jessamines, with their silvery stars, gera-
niums, luxuriant roses bending beneath their heavy abundance
of flowers, golden jessamines, lemon-scented verbenum, all
united their bloom and fragrance, while here and there a mys-
tic old aloe, with its strange, massive leaves, sat looking like
some hoary old enchanter, sitting in 'weird grandeur among
the more perishable bloom and fragrance around it.
The galleras that surrounded the court were festooned
236 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
with a curtain o£. some kind of Moorish stuff, and coal J bo
drawn clown at pleasure, to exclude the beams of the sun. On
the whole, the appearance of the place was luxurious and
As the carriage drove in, Eva seemed like a bird ready to
burst from a cage, with the wild eagerness of her delight.
"0, isn't it beautiful, lovely! my own dear, darling
home ! " she said to Miss Ophelia. " Is n't it beautiful ] "
" 'T is a pretty place," said Miss Ophelia, as she alighted :
"though it looks rather old and heathenish to me."
Tom got down from the carriage, and looked about with an
air of calm, still enjoyment. The negro, it must be remem-
bered, is an exotic of the most gorgeous and superb countries
of the world, and he has, deep in his heart, a passion for all
that is splendid, rich, and fanciful ; a passion which, rudely
indulged by an untrained taste, draws on them the ridicule of
the colder and more correct white race.
St. Clare, who was in his heart a poetical voluptuary,
smiled as Miss Ophelia made her remark on his premises,
and, turning to Tom, who was standing looking round, hig
beaming black face perfectly radiant with admiration, he
" Tom, my boy, this seems to suit you."
" Yes, Mas'r, it looks about the right thing," said Tom.
All this passed in a moment, while trunks were being
hustled off, x hackman paid, and while a crowd, of all ages and
sizes, — men, women, and children, — came running through
the galleries, both above and below, to see Mas'r come in.
Foremost among them was a highly-dressed young mulatto
man, evidently a very distingue personage, attired in the
ultra extreme of the mode, and gracefully waving a scented
cambric handkerchief in his hand.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 237
This personage had been exerting himself, with great alac-
rity, in driving all the flock of domestics to the other end of
" Back ! all of you. I am ashamed of you." he said, in a
tone of authority. "Would you intrude on Master's domestic
relations, in the first hour of his return?"
All looked abashed at this elegant speech, delivered with
quite an air, and stood huddled together at a respectful dis-
tance, except two stout porters, who came up and began con-
veying away the baggage.
Owing to Mr. Adolph's systematic arrangements, when St.
Clare turned round from paying the hackman, there was
nobody in view but Mr. Adolph himself, conspicuous in satin
vest, gold guard-chain, and white pants, and bowing with
inexpressible grace and suavity.
"Ah, Adolph, is it you?" said his master, offering his
hand to him; "how are you, boy?" while Adolph poured
forth, with great fluency, an extemporary speech, which he
had been preparing, with great care, for a fortnight before.
"Well, well," said St. Clare, passing on, with his usual air
of negligent drollery, "that 's very well got up, Adolph. See
that the baggage is well bestowed. I '11 come to the people in
a minute;" and, so saying, he led Miss Ophelia to a large
parlor that opened on to the verandah.
While this had been passing, Eva had flown like a bird,
through the porch and parlor, to a little boudoir opening like-
wise on the verandah.
A tall, dark-eyed, sallow woman, half rose from a couch on
which she was reclining.
"Mamma!" said Eva, in a sort of a rapture, throwing
herself on her neck, and embracing her over and over again.
"That'll do, — take care, child, — don't, you make my
238 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
head ache," said the mother, after she had languidly kissed
St. Clare came in, embraced his wife in true, orthodox,
husbandly fashion, and then presented to her his cousin.
Marie lifted her large eyes on her cousin with an air of some
curiosity, and received her with languid politeness. A crowd
of servants now pressed to the entry door, and among them a
middle-aged mulatto woman, of very respectable appearance,
stood foremost, in a tremor of expectation and joy, at the
" 0, there 's Mammy !" said Eva, as she flew across the
room ; and, throwing herself into her arms, she kissed her
This woman did not tell her that she made her head ache,
but, on the contrary, she hugged her, and laughed, and cried,
till her sanity was a thing to be doubted of; and when
released from her, Eva flew from one to another, shaking
hands and kissing, in a way that Miss Ophelia afterwards
declared fairly turned her stomach.
" Well ! " said Miss Ophelia, "you southern children can
do something that /couldn't."
"What, now, pray?" said St. Clare.
"Well, I want to be kind to everybody, and I wouldn't
Lave anything hurt ; but as to kissing — "
"Niggers," said* St. Clare, "that you're not up to, —
" Yes, that 's it. How can she ?"
St. Clare laughed, as he went into the passage. "Hall; a,
here, what's to payout here? Here, you all — Mamr;y,
Jimmy, Polly, Sukey — glad to see Mas'r?" he said, a# he
went shaking hands from one to another. " Look out for the
babies ! " he added, as he stumbled over a sooty little urchin,
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 239
who was crawling upon all fours. " If I step upon anybody,
let 'cm mention it."
There was an abundance of laudiing and blessing Mas'r,
as St. Clare distributed small pieces of change among them.
" Come, now, take yourselves off, like good boys and girls,"
he said; and the whole assemblage, dark and light, disappeared
through a door into a large verandah, followed by Eva, who
carried a large satchel, which she had been filling with apples,
nuts, candy, ribbons, laces, and toys of every description,
during her whole homeward journey.
As St. Clare turned to go back, his eye fell upon Tom,
who was standing uneasily, shifting from one foot to the
other, while Adolph stood negligently leaning against the
banisters, examining Tom through an opera-glass, with an
air that ^ould have done credit to any dandy living.
" Puh ! you puppy," said his master, strik : A ig down the
opera glass; "is that the way you treat your company?
Seems to me, Dolph," he added, laying his finger on the
elegant figured satin vest that Adolph was sporting, "seems
to me that 's my vest."
"0! Master, this vest all stained with wine ; of course,
a gentleman in Master's standing never wears a vest like this.
1 understood I was to take it. It does for a poor nigger-fellow,
And Adolph tossed his head, and passed his fingers through
Jiis scented hair, with a grace.
"So, that's it, is it?" said St. Clare, carelessly. * WelL,
here, I 'm going to show this Tom to his mistress, and then
you take him to the kitchen ; and mind you don't put on
any of your airs to him. He 's worth two such puppies aa
240 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
" Master always will have his joke," said Adolph, laugh-
ing. " I 'm delighted to see Master in such spirits."
"Here, Tom," said St. Clare, beckoning.
Tom entered the room. He looked wistfully on the velvet
carpets, and the before unimagined splendors of mirrors, pic-
tures, statues, and curtains, and, like the Queen of Sheba
before Solomon, there was no more spirit in him. He looked
afraid even to set his feet down.
"See here, Marie," said St. Clare to his wife, "I've
bought you a coachman, at last, to order. I tell you, he 's a
regular hearse for blackness and sobriety, and will drive you
like a funeral, if you want. Open your eyes, now, and look
at him. Now, don't say I never think about you when I 'm
Marie opened her eyes, and fixed them on Tom, without
" I know he '11 get drunk," she said.
" No, he 's warranted a pious and sober article."
" Well, I hope he may turn out well," said the lady; "it's
more than I expect, though."
"Dolph," said St. Clare, "show Tom down stairs; and,
mind yourself," he added ; " remember what I told you."
Adolph tripped gracefully forward, and Tom, with lumber-
ing tread, went after.
" He 's a perfect behemoth ! " said Marie.
" Come, now, Marie," said St. Clare, seating himself on a
stool beside her sofa, "be gracious, and say something pretty
to a fellow."
" You 've been gone a fortnight beyond the time," said the
" Well, you know I wrote you the reason."
11 Such a short, cold letter ! " said the lady.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. . 241
" Dear me ! the mail was just going, and it had to be that
"That's just the way, always," said the lady; " always
something to make your journey"? long, and letters short."
" See here, now," he added, drawing an elegant velvet case
out of his pocket, and opening it, "here 's a present I got for
you in New York."
It was a daguerreotype, clear and soft as an engraving,
representing Eva and her father sitting hand in hand.
Marie looked at it with a dissatisfied air.
" What made you sit in such an awkward position ?" she
" Well, the position may be a matter of opinion ; but what
do you think of the likeness?"
u If you don't think anything of my opinion in one case, I
suppose you wouldn't in another," said the lady,, shutting the
" Hang the woman ! " said St. Clare, mentally ; but aloud
he added, " Come, now, Marie, what do you think of the
likeness ? Don't be nonsensical, now."
" It 's very inconsiderate of you, St. Clare," said the lady,
u to insist on my talking and looking at things. You know
I 've been lying all day with the sick-headache ; and there 's
been such a tumult made ever since you came, I 'm half
" You 're subject to the sick-headache, ma'am?" said Miss
Ophelia, suddenly rising from the depths of the large arm-
chair, where she had sat quietly, taking an inventory of the
furniture, and calculating its expense.
" Yes, I 'm a perfect martyr to it," said the lady.
" Juniper-berry tea is good for sick-headache," said Miss
242 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
Ophelia ; "at least, Auguste, Deacon Abraham Perry's wife,
used to say so ; and she was a great nurse."
"I'll have the first juniper-berries that get ripe in our
garden by the lake brought in for that especial purpose,"
said St. Clare, gravely pulling the bell as he did so ; "mean
while, cousin, you must be wanting to retire to your apart-
ment, and refresh yourself a little, after your journey.
Dolph," he added, "tell Mammy to come here." The
decent mulatto woman whom Eva had caressed so rapturously
soon entered ; she was dressed neatly, with a high red and
yellow turban on her head, the recent gift of Eva, and which
the child had been arranging on her head. "Mammy," said
St. Clare, "I put this lady under your care; she is tired,
and wants rest ; take her to her chamber, and be sure she is
made comfortable;" and Miss Ophelia disappeared in the rear
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 243
tom's ins tress and her opinions.
r And now, Marie," said St. Clare, "your golden days
arc dawning. Here is our practical, business-like New Eng-
land cousin, who will take the whole budget of cares off your
shoulders, and give you time to refresh yourself, and grow
young and handsome. The ceremony of delivering the keys
had better come off forthwith."
This remark was made at the breakfast-table, a few morn-
ings after Miss Ophelia had arrived.
"I 'm sure she's welcome," said Marie, leaning her head
languidly on her hand. " I think she'll find one thing, if she
does, and that is, that it's we mistresses that are the slaves,
" 0, certainly, she will discover that, and a world of
wholesome truths besides, no doubt," said St. Clare.
" Talk about our keeping slaves, as if we did it for our
convenience" said Marie. "I'm sure, if we consulted that,
we might let them all go at once."
Evangeline fixed her large, serious eyes on her mother's
face, with an earnest and perplexed expression, and said, sim-
ply, " What do you keep them for, mamma ? "
" I don't know, I'm sure, except for a plague ; they are
the plague of my life. I believe that more of my ill health
is caused by them than by any one thing ; and ours, I know,
are the very worst that ever anybody was plagued with."
" 0, come, Marie, you ; ve got the blues, this morning,"
244 UK CLE TOM'S cabin : OR,
said St. Clare. " You know 't is n't so. There 's Mammy,
the best creature living, — what could you do without her ? "
" Mammy is the best I ever knew," said Marie ; M and yet
Mammy, now, is selfish — dreadfully selfish ; it 's the fault
of the whole race."
" Selfishness is a dreadful fault," said St. Clare, gravely.
" Well, now, there 's Mammy," said Marie, " I think it 's
selfish of her to sleep so sound nights ; she knows I need
little attentions almost every hour, when my worst turns are
on, and yet she 's so hard to wake. I absolutely am worse,
this very morning, for the efforts I had to make to wake her
" Has n't she sat up with you a good many nights, lately,
mamma ? " said Eva.
"How should you know that?" said Marie, sharply;
" she's been complaining, I suppose."
" She didn't complain ; she only told me what bad nights
you 'd had, — so many in succession."
" Why don't you let Jane or Rosa take her place, a night
or two," said St. Clare, " and let her rest ? "
"How can you propose it?" said Marie. "St. Clare,
you really are inconsiderate. So nervous as I am, the least
breath disturbs me ; and a strange hand about me would drive
me absolutely frantic. If Mammy felt the interest in me she
ought to, she 'd wake easier, — of course, she would. I 've
heard of people who had such devoted servants, but it never
was my luck ;" and Marie sighed.
Miss Ophelia had listened to this conversation with an air
of shrewd, observant gravity; and she s + ill kept her lips
tightly compressed, as if determined fully to ascertain her
longitude and position, before she committed herself.
"Now Mammy has a sort of goodness," said Marie;
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 245
"she's smooth and respectful, but she's selfish at heart.
Now, she never will be done fidgeting and worrying about
that husband of hers. You see, when I was married and
came to live here, of course, I had to bring her with me, and
her husband my father could n't» spare. He was a black-
smith, and, of course, very necessary ; and I thought and said,
at the time, that Mammy and he had better give each other
up, as it was n't likely to be convenient for them ever to live
together again. I wish, now, I 'd insisted on it, and married
Mammy to somebody else ; but I was foolish and indulgent,
and did n't want to insist. I told Mammy, at the time, that
she must n't ever expect to see him more than once or twice
in her life again, for the air of father's place does n't agree
with my health, and I can't go there ; and I advised her
to take up with somebody else ; but no — she would n't.
Mammy has a kind of obstinacy about her, in spots, that
everybody don't see as I do."
" Has she children?" said Miss Ophelia.
" Yes ; she has two."
" I suppose she feels the separation from them ? "
" Well, of course, I could n't bring them. They were little
dirty things — I could n't have them about ; and, besides,
they took up too much of her time ; but I believe that
Mammy has always kept up a sort of sulkiness about this.
She won't marry anybody else ; and I do believe, now, though
she knows how necessary she is to me, and how feeble my
health is, she would go back to her husband to-morrow, if she
only could. I do, indeed," said Marie ; " they are just so
selfish, now, the best of them."
"It's distressing to reflect upon," said St. Clare, dryly.
Miss Ophelia looked keenly at him, and saw the flush of
246 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
mortification and repressed vexation, and the sarcastic curl of
the lip, as he spoke.
" Now, Mammy has always been a pet with me," said
Marie. " I wish some of your northern servants could look
at her closets of dresses,-*— silks and muslins, and one real
linen cambric, she has hanging there. I 've worked some-
times whole afternoons, trimming her caps, and .getting her
ready to go to a party. As to abuse, she don't know what it
is. She never was whipped more than once or twice in her
whole life. She has her strong coffee or her tea every day,
with white sugar in it. It 's abominable, to be sure ; but St.
Clare will have high life below-stairs, and they every one of
them live just as they please. The fact is, our servants are
over-indulged. I suppose it is partly our fault that they are
selfish, and act like spoiled children ; but I 've talked to St
Clare till I am tired."
" And I, too," said St. Clare, taking up the morning
Eva, the beautiful Eva, had stood listening to her mothei,
with that expression of deep and mystic earnestness which
was peculiar to her. She walked softly round to her mother's
chair, and put her arms round her neck.
" Well, Eva, what now? " said Marie.
" Mamma, couldn't I take care of you one night — just
one ? I know I should n't make you nervous, and I shouldn't
sleep. I often lie awake nights, thinking — "
" 0, nonsense, child — • nonsense ! " said Marie ; (f you are
such a strange child ! "
" But may I, mamma? I think," she said, timidly,
" that Mammy is n't well. She told me her head ached all
the time, lately."
" 0, that 's just one of Mammy's fidgets ! Mammy is just
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 247
like all the rest of them — makes such a fuss about every
little head-ache or finger-ache ; it '11 never do to encourage it
— never ! I 'm principled about this matter," said she,
turning to Miss Ophelia; "you'll find the necessity of it.
If you encourage servants in giving way to every little dis-
agreeable feeling, and complaining of every little ailment,
you'll have your hands full. I never complain myself —
nobody knows what I endure. I feel it a duty to bear it
quietly, and Id}."
Miss Ophelia's round eyes expressed an undisguised
amazement at this peroration, which struck St. Clare as so
supremely ludicrous, that he burst into a loud laugh.
" St. Clare always laughs when I make the least allusion
to my ill health," said Marie, with the voice of a suffering
martyr. "I only hope the day won't come when he'll
remember it ! " and Marie put her handkerchief to her eyes.
Of course, there was rather a foolish silence. Finally,
St. Clare got up, looked at his watch, and said he had an
engagement down street. Eva tripped away after him, and
Miss Ophelia and Marie remained at the table alone.
li 'Now, that's just like St. Clare ! " said the latter, with-
drawing her handkerchief with somewhat of a spirited flourish
when the criminal to be affected by it was no longer in sight.
" He never realizes, never can, never will, what I suffer, and
have, for years. If I was one of the complaining sort, or ever
made any fuss about my ailments, there would be some reason
for it. Men do get tired, naturally, of a complaining wife.
But I 've kept things to myself, and borne, and borne, till
St. Clare has got in the way of thinking I can bear any-
Miss Ophelia did not exactly know what she was expected
to answer to this.
248 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OK
While she was thinking what to say, Marie gradually
wiped away her tears, and smoothed her plumage in a general
sort of way, as a dove might be supposed to make toilet
after a shower, and began a housewifely chat with Miss Ophe-
lia, concerning cupboards, closets, linen-presses, store-rooms,
and other matters, of which the latter was, by common under-
standing, to assume the direction, — giving her so many
cautious directions and charges, that a head less systematic
and business-like than Miss Ophelia's would have been utterly
dizzied and confounded.
" And now," said Marie, " I believe I've told you every-
thing ; so that, when my next sick turn comes on, you '11 be
able to go forward entirely, without consulting me ; — only
about Eva, — she requires watching."
" She seems to be a good child, very," said Miss Ophelia ;
u I never saw a better child."
" Eva 's peculiar," said her mother, " very. There are
things about her so singular; she isn't like me, now, a
particle ;" and Marie sighed, as if this was«a truly melancholy
Miss Ophelia in her own heart said, " I hope she is n't,"
but had prudence enough to keep it down.
" Eva always was disposed to be with servants ; and I thinl
that well enough with some children. Now, I always playei
with father's little negroes — it never did me any harm. But
Eva somehow always seems to put herself on an equality with
every creature that comes near her. It 's a strange thing
about the child. I never have been able to break her of it.
St. Clare, I believe, encourages her in it. The fact is, St.
Clare indulges every creature under this roof but his own
Again Miss Ophelia sat in blank silence.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 249
" Now, there's no way with servants," said Marie, "but
to jmt them down, and keep them down. It was always
natural to me, from a child. Eva is enough to spoil a whole
house-full. What she will do when she comes to keep house
herself, I 'm sure I don't know. I hold to being kind to
servants — I always am ; but you must make 'em knovj their
•place. Eva never does ; there 's no getting into the child's
head the first beginning of an idea what a servant's place is !
You heard her offering to take care of me nights, to let
Mammy sleep ! That 's just a specimen of the way the child
would be doing all the time, if she was left to herself. "
" Why," said Miss Ophelia, bluntly, " I suppose you think
your servants are human creatures, and ought to have some
rest when they are tired."
"Certainly, of course. I'm very particular in letting
them have everything that comes convenient, — anything that
does n't put one at all out of the way, you know. Mammy
can make up her sleep, some time or other ; there's no diffi-
culty about that. She's the sleepiest concern that ever I
saw ; sewing, standing, or sitting, that creature will go to
sleep, and sleep anywhere and everywhere. JSTo danger but
Mammy gets sleep enough. But this treating servants as if
they were exotic flowers, or china vases, is really ridiculous,"
said Marie, as she plunged languidly into the depths of a
voluminous and pillowy lounge, and drew towards her an
elegant cut-glass vinaigrette.
" You see," she continued, in a faint and lady-like voice,
like the last dying breath of an Arabian jessamine, or some-
thing equally ethereal, " you see, Cousin Ophelia, I don't
often speak of myself. It isn't my habit ; 'tis n't agreeable
to me. In fact, I haven't strength to do it. But there are
points where St. Clare and I differ. St. Clare never under-
250 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
stood me, never appreciated me. I think it lies at the root
of all my ill health. St. Clare means well, I am bound to
believe ; but men are constitutionally selfish and inconsiderate
to woman. That, at least, is my impression."
Miss Ophelia, who had not a small share of the genuine
New England caution, and a very particular horror of being
drawn into family difficulties, now began to foresee something
of this kind impending ; so, composing her face into a grim
neutrality, and drawing out of her pocket about a yard and a
quarter of stocking, which she kept as a specific against what
Dr. Watts asserts to be a personal habit of Satan when peo-
ple have idle hands, she proceeded to knit most energetically,
shutting her lips together in a way that said, as plain as words
could, " You needn't try to make me speak. I don't want
anything to do with your affairs," — in fact, she looked about
as sympathizing as a stone lion. But Marie didn't care for
that. She had got somebody to talk to, and she felt it her
duty to talk, and that was enough ; and reinforcing herself by
smelling again at her vinaigrette, she went on.
" You see, I brought my own property and servants into
the connection, when I married St. Clare, and I am legally
entitled to manage them my own way. St. Clare had his
fortune and his servants, and I 'm well enough content he
should manage them his way ; but St. Clare will be interfer-
ing. He has wild, extravagant notions about things, particu-"
larly about the treatment of servants. He really does act as
if he set his servants before me, and before himself, too ; for
he lets them make him all sorts of trouble, and never lifts a
finger. Now, about some things, St. Clare is really frightful
— he frightens me — good-natured as he looks, in general.
Now, he has set down his foot that, come what will, there
shall not be a blow struck in this house, except what he or I
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 251
strike ; and he does it in a way that I really dare not cross
him. Well, you may see what that leads to ; for St. Clare
wouldn't raise his hand, if every one of them walked over him,
and I — you see how cruel it would be to require me to make
the exertion. Now, you know these servants are nothing but
" I don't know anything about it, and I thank the Lord
that I don't ! " said Miss Ophelia, shortly.
4 Well, but you will have to know something, and know it
to your cost, if you stay here. You don't know what a pro-
voking, stupid, careless, unreasonable childish, ungrateful set
of wretches they are."
Marie seemed wonderfully supported, always, when she got
upon this topic ; and she now opened her eyes, and seemed
quite to forget her languor.
" You don't know, and you can't, the daily, hourly trials
that beset a housekeeper from them, everywhere and every
way. But it's no use to complain to St. Clare. He talks
the strangest stuff. He says we have made them what they
are, and ought to bear with them. He says their faults are
all owing to us, and that it would be cruel to make the fault
and punish it too. He says we should n't do any better, in
their place ; just as if one could reason from them to us, you
" Don't you believe that the Lord made them of one blood
with us 1 " said Miss Ophelia, shortly.
" No, indeed, not I ! A pretty story, truly ! They are a
" Don't you think they've got immortal souls ? " said Miss
Ophelia, with increasing indignation.
" 0, well," said Marie, yawning, " that, of course — nobody
doubts that. But as to putting them on any sort of equality
252 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
"with us, you know, as if we could be compared, why, it 's
impossible ! Now, St. Clare really has talked to me as if
keeping Mammy from her husband was like keeping me from
mine. There 's no comparing in this way. Mammy could n't
have the feelings that I should. It's a different thing
altogether, — of course, it is, — and yet St. Clare pretends
not to see it. And just as if Mammy could love her little
dirty babies as I love Eva ! Yet St. Clare once really and
soberly tried to persuade me that it was my duty, with my
weak health, and all I suffer, to let Mammy go back, and take
somebody else in her place. That was a little too much even
for me to bear. I don't often show my feelings. I make it
a principle to endure everything in silence ; it 's a wife's
hard lot, and I bear it. But I did break out ; that time ; so
that he has never alluded to the subject since. But I know
by his looks, and little things that he says, that he thinks so
as much as ever; and it's so trying, so provoking ! "
Miss Ophelia looked very much as if she was afraid she
should say something ; but she rattled away with her needles
in a way that had volumes of meaning in it, if Marie could
only have understood it.
"So, you just see," she continued, "what you've got to
manage. A household without any rule ; where servants
have it all their own way, do what they please, and have
what they please, except so far as I, with my feeble health,
have kept up government. I keep my cowhide about, and
sometimes I do lay it on ; but the exertion is always too much
for me. If St. Clare would only have this thing done as
others do — "
"And how's that?"
" Why, send them to the calaboose, or some of the other
places to be flogged. That 's the only way. If I was n't
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 258
such a poor, feeble piece, I believe I should manage with
twice the energy that St. Clare dees."
" And how does St. Clare contrive to manage? " said Miss
Ophelia. " You say he never strikes a blow."
" Well, men have a more commanding way, you know ; it
is easier for them ; besides, if you ever looked full in his
eye, it 's peculiar, — that eye, — and if he speaks decidedly,
there 's a kind of flash. I 'm afraid of it, myself; and the
servants know they must mind. I couldn't do as much by a
regular storm and scolding as St. Clare can by one turn of
his eye, if once he is in earnest. 0, there 's no trouble
about St. Clare ; that 's the reason he 's no more feeling for
me. But you'll find, when you come to manage, that there 's
no getting along without severity, — they are so bad, so
deceitful, so lazy."
"The old tune," said St. Clare, sauntering in. "What
an awful account these wicked creatures will have to settle, at
last, especially for being lazy ! You see, cousin," said he, as
he stretched himself at full length on a lounge opposite to
Marie, "it's wholly inexcusable in them, in the light of the
example that Marie and I set them, — this laziness."
" Come, now, St. Clare, you are too bad ! " said Marie.
" Am I, now ? Why, I thought I was talking good, quite
remarkably for me. I try to enforce your remarks, Marie,
" You know you meant no such thing, St. Clare," said
"0,1 must have been mistaken, then. Thank you, my
dear, for setting me right."
" You do really try to be provoking," said Marie.
" 0, come, Marie, the day is growing warm, and I have
just had a long quarrel with Dolph, which has fatigued me
254 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
excessively; so, pray be agreeable, now, and let a fellow
repose in the light of your smile."
" What 's the matter about Dolph 1 " said Marie. " That
fellow's impudence has been growing to a point that is
perfectly intolerable to me. I only wish I had the undis-
puted management of him a while. I 'd bring him down ! "
"What you say, my dear, is marked with your usual
avuteness and good sense," said St. Clare. " As to Dolph,
thi case is this : that he has so long been engaged in imitat-
ing my graces and perfections, that he has, at last, really mis-
taken himself for his master ; and I have been obliged to give
him a little insight into his mistake."
"How?" said Marie.
" Why, I was obliged to let him understand explicitly that
I preferred to keep some of my clothes for my own personal
wearing ; also, I put his magnificence upon an allowance of
cologne-water, and actually was so cruel as to restrict him to
one dozen of my cambric handkerchiefs. Dolph was particu-
larly huffy about it, and I had to talk to him like a father, to
bring him round."
" ! Gt. Clare, when will you learn how to treat your
servants 1 It 's abominable, the way you indulge them ! "
" Why, after all, what 's the harm of the poor dog's want-
ing to be like his master ; and if I have n't brought him up
any better than to find his chief good in cologne and cambric
handkerchiefs, why should n't I give them to him ? "
" And why have n't you brought him up better?" said
Miss Ophelia, with blunt determination.
"Too much trouble, — laziness, cousin, laziness, — which
ruins more souls than you can shake a stick at. If if
weren't for laziness, I should have been a perfect angel,
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 255
myself. I 'm inclined to think that laziness is what your old
Dr. Botherem, up in Vermont, used to call the l essence of
moral evil.' It 's an awful consideration, certainly."
"I think you slaveholders have an awful responsibility
upon you," said Miss Ophelia. " I wouldn't have it, for a
thousand worlds. You ought to educate your slaves, and
treat them like reasonable creatures, — like immortal crea-
tures, that you 've got to stand before the bar of God with.
That's my mind," said the good lady, breaking suddenly out
with a tide of zeal that had been gaining strength in her mind
all the morning.
"0! come, come," said St. Clare, getting up quickly;
11 what do you know about us? " And he sat down to the
piano, and rattled a lively piece of music. St. Clare had a
decided genius for music. His touch was brilliant and firm,
and his fingers flew over the keys with a rapid and bird-like
motion, airy, and yet decided. He played piece after piece,
like a man who is trying to play himself into a good humor.
After pushing the music aside, he rose up, and said, gayly,
"Well, now, cousin, you 've given us a good talk, and done
your duty ; on the whole, I think the better of you for it. I
make no manner of doubt that you threw a very diamond of
truth at me, though you see it hit me so directly in the face
that it was n't exactly appreciated, at first."
"For my part, I don't see any use in such sort of talk," said
Marie. "I'm sure, if anybody does more for servants than
we do, I'd like to know who ; and it don't do 'em a bit good,
— not a particle, — they get worse and worse. As to talking to
them, or anything like that, I 'm sure I have talked till I was
tired and hoarse, telling them their duty, and all that ; and
I 'm sure they can go to church when they like, though they
don't understand a word of the sermon, more than so many
256 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
pigs, — so it is n't of any great use for them to go, as I see ;
but they do go, and so they have every chance ; but, as I said
before, they are a degraded race, and always will be, and
there isn't any help for them ; you can't make anything of
them, if you try. You see, Cousin Ophelia, I 've tried, and
you haven't; I was born and bred among them, and I
Miss Ophelia thought she had said enough, and therefore
sat silent. St. Clare whistled a tune.
" St. Clare, I wish you wouldn't whistle," said Marie;
" it makes my head worse."
" I won't," said St. Clare. " Is there anything else you
wouldn't wish me to do 1 "
" I wish you would have some kind of sympathy for my
trials; you never have any feeling for me."
" My dear accusing angel ! " said St. Clare.
" It 's provoking to be talked to in that way."
" Then, how will you be talked to? I '11 talk to order, —
any way you '11 mention, — only to give satisfaction."
A gay laugh from the court rang through the silken
curtains of the verandah. St. Clare stepped out, and lifting
up the curtain, laughed too.
" What is it 1 " said Miss Ophelia, coming to the railing.
There sat Tom, on a little mossy seat in the court, every
one of his button-holes stuck full of cape jessamines, and Eva,
gayly laughing, was hanging a wreath of roses round his
neck ; and then she sat down on Ins knee, like a chip-sparrow,
" 0, Tom, you look so funny ! "
Tom had a sober, benevolent smile, and seemed, in his
quiet way, to be enjoying the fun quite as much as his little
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 257
mistress. He lifted his eyes, when he saw his master, with a
half-deprecating, apologetic air.
" How can you let her? " said Miss Ophelia.
"Why not?" said St. Clare. .
" Why, I don't know, it seems so dreadful ! "
" You would think no harm in a child's caressing a largo
dog, even if he was black ; but a creature that can think, and
reason, and feel, and is immortal, you shudder at ; confess it,
cousin. I know the feeling among some of you northerners
well enough. Not that there is a particle of virtue in our
not having it; but custom with us does what Christianity
ought to do, — obliterates the feeling of personal prejudice. I
have often noticed, in my travels north, how much stronger
this was with you than with us. You loathe them as you
would a snake or a toad, yet you are indignant at their
wrongs. You would not have them abused j but you don't
want to have anything to do with them yourselves. You
would send them to Africa, out of your sight and smell, and
then send a missionary or two to do up all the self-denial of
elevating them compendiously. Is n't that it ? "
"Well, cousin," said Miss Ophelia, thoughtfully, "there
may be some truth in this."
" What would the poor and lowly do, without children? "
said St. Clare, leaning on the railing, and watching Eva, as
she tripped off, leading Tom with her. " Your little child is
your only true democrat. Tom, now, is a hero to Eva ; his
stcries are wonders in her eyes, his songs and Methodist
hymns are better than an opera, and the traps and little bits
of trash in his pocket a mine of jewels, and he the most
wonderful Tom that ever wore a black skin. This is one of
the rases of Eden that the Lord has dropped down expressly
258 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR.
for the poor and lowly, who get few enough of any other
"It's strange, cousin," said Miss Ophelia; "one might
almost think you were ^professor, to hear you talk."
"A professor?" said St. Clare.
" Yes ; a professor of religion."
"Not at all ; not a professor, as your town-folks have it;
and, what is worse, I 'm afraid, not a practiser, either."
" What makes you talk so, then? "
"Nothing is easier than talking," said St. Clare. "I
believe Shakspeare makes somebody say, ' I could sooner
show twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the
twenty to follow my own showing.' Nothing like division of
labor. My forte lies in talking, and yours, cousin, lies in
In Tom's external situation, at this time, there was, as the
world says, nothing to complain of. Little Eva's fancy for
him — the instinctive gratitude and loveliness of a noble
nature — had led her to petition her father that he might be
her especial attendant, whenever she needed the escort of a
servant, in her walks or rides ; and Tom had general orders to
let everything else go, and attend to Miss Eva whenever she
wanted him, — orders which our readers may fancy were far
from disagreeable to him. He was kept well dressed, for St.
Clare was fastidiously particular on this point. His stable
services were merely a sinecure, and consisted simply in a
daily care and inspection, and directing an under-servant in
his duties ; for Marie St. Clare declared that she could not
have any smell of the horses about him when he came nea/
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 259
her, and that he must positively not be put to any service
that -would make him unpleasant to her, as her nervous system
was entirely inadequate to any trial of that nature ; one snuff
of anything disagreeable being, according to her account, quite
sufficient to close the scene, and put an end to all her earthly
trials at once. Tom, therefore, in his well-brushed broad-
cloth suit, smooth beaver, glossy boots, faultless wristbands
and collar, with his grave, good-natured black face, looked
respectable enough to be a Bishop of Carthage, as men of his
color were, in other ages. '
Then, too, he was in a beautiful place, a consideration to
which his sensitive race are never indifferent; and he did
enjoy with a quiet joy the birds, the flowers, the fountains,
the perfume, and light and beauty of the court, the silken
hangings, and pictures, and lustres, and statuettes, and gild-
ing, that made the parlors within a kind of Aladdin's palace
If ever Africa shall show an elevated and cultivated race,
— and come it must, some time, her turn to figure in the
great drama of human improvement, — life will awake there
with a gorgeousness and splendor of which our cold western
tribes faintly have conceived. In that far-off mystic land of
gold, and gems, and spices, and waving palms, and wondrous
flowers, and miraculous fertility, will awake new forms of art,
new styles of splendor ; and the negro race, no longer despised
and trodden down, will, perhaps, show forth some of the
latest and most magnificent revelations of human life. Cer-
tainly they will, in their gentleness, their lowly docility of
heart, their aptitude to repose on a superior mind and rest on
a higher power, their childlike simplicity of affection, and
facility of forgiveness. In all these they will exhibit the
highest form of the peculiarly Christian life, and, perhaps,
260 UNCLE TOM ; S CABIN : OR,
as God chasteneth whom he loveth, he hath chosen poor
Africa in the furnace of affliction, to make her the highest
and noblest in that kingdom which he will set up, when every
other kingdom has been tried, and failed ; for the first shall
be last, and the last first.
Was this what Marie St. Clare was thinking of, as she
stood, gorgeously dressed, on the verandah, on Sunday morn-
ing, clasping a diamond bracelet on her slender wrist ? Most
likely it was. Or, if it was n't that, it was something else ;
for Marie patronized good things, and she was going now, in
full force, — diamonds, silk, and lace, and jewels, and all, — to
a fashionable church, to be very religious. Marie always made
a point to be very pious on Sundays. There she stood, so
slender, so elegant, so airy and undulating in all her motions,
her lace scarf enveloping her like a mist. She looked a grace-
ful creature, and she felt very good and very elegant indeed.
Miss Ophelia stood at her side, a perfect contrast. It was
not that she had not as handsome a silk dress and shawl, and
as fine a pocket-handkerchief; but stiffness and squareness,
and bolt-uprightness, enveloped her with as indefinite yet
appreciable a presence as did grace her elegant neighbor ; not
the grace of God, however, — that is quite another thing !
"Where 's Eva?" said Marie.
" The child stopped on the stairs, to say something to
And what was Eva saying to Mammy on the stairs?
Listen, reacler, and you will hear, though Marie does not.
" Dear Mammy, I know your head is aching dreadfully."
" Lord bless you, Miss Eva ! my head allers aches lately
You don't need to worry."
" Well, I : m glad you 're going out ; and here," — and the
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 261
little girl threw her arms around her, — " Mammy, you shall
take my vinaigrette."
"What! your beautiful gold thing, thar, with them
diamonds ! Lor, Miss, 'twould n't be proper, no ways."
"Why not? You need it, and I don't. Mamma always
usss it for headache, and it '11 make you feel better. No, you
shall take it, to please me, now."
" Do hear the darlin talk ! " said Mammy, as Eva thrust
it into her bosom, and, kissing her, ran down stairs to her
" What were you stopping for ? "
" I was just stopping to give Mammy my vinaigrette, to
take to church with her."
11 Eva ! " said Marie, stamping impatiently, — " your gold
vinaigrette to Mammy ! When will you learn what 's
proper ? Go right and take it back, this moment ! "
Eva looked downcast and aggrieved, and turned slowly.
"I say, Marie, let the child alone; she shall do as she
pleases," said St. Clare.
" St. Clare, how will she ever get along in the world? "
" The Lord knows," said St. Clare ; " but she '11 get along
in heaven better than you or I."
u O, papa, don't," said Eva, softly touching his elbow;
"it troubles mother."
" Well, cousin, are you ready to go to meeting ? " said Miss
Ophelia, turning square about on St. Clare.
" I 'm not going, thank you."
"I do wish St. Clare ever would go to church," said
Marie ; " but he has n't a particle of religion about him. It
really isn't respectable."
" I know it," said St. Clare. "You ladies go to church
262 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
to learn how to get along in the world, I suppose, and youi
piety sheds respectability on us. If I did go at all, I would
go where Mammy goes ; there 's something to keep a fellow
awake there, at least."
"What! those shouting Methodists? Horrible!" said
" Anything but the dead sea of your respectable churches,
Marie. Positively, it 's too much to ask of a man. Eva, do
you like to go ? Come, stay at home and play with me."
" Thank you, papa ; but I 'd rather go to church."
" Is n't it dreadful tiresome ? " said St. Clare.
"I think it is tiresome, some," said Eva; "and I am
sleepy, too, but I try to keep awake."
" What do you go for, then? "
"Why, you know, papa," she said, in a whisper, "cousin
told me that God wants to have us ; and he gives us every-
thing, you know ; and it is n't much to do it, if he wants us to.
It is n't so very tiresome, after all."
"You sweet, little obliging soul ! " said St. Clare, kissing
her ; "go along, that 's a good girl, and pray for me."
" Certainly, I always do," said the child, as she sprang
after her mother into the carriage.
St. Clare stood on the steps and kissed his hand to her,
as the carriage drove away ; large tears were in his eyes.
"0, Evangeline! rightly named," he said; "hath not
God made thee an evangel to me ? "
So he felt a moment ; and then he smoked a cigar, and read
the Picayune, and forgot his little gospel. Was he much
unlike other folks?
"You see, Evangeline," said her mother, "it's always
right and proper to be kind to servants, but it is n't proper to
treat them just as we would our relations, or people in our
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 263
own class of life. Now, if Mammy was sick, you wouldn't
want to put her in your own bed."
"I should feel just like it, mamma," said Eva, " because
then it would be handier to take care of her, and because,
you know, my bed is better than hers."
Marie was in utter despair at the entire want of moral
perception evinced in this reply.
" What can I do to make this child understand me 1 " she
" Nothing," said Miss Ophelia, significantly.
Eva looked sorry and disconcerted for a moment; but
children, luckily, do not keep to one impression long, and in
a few moments she was merrily laughing at various things
which she saw from the coach- windows, as it rattled along.
_y* 4/^ ja- ^ al. *A£»
*fc *J^ TT *Jv* *JT *1t p
"Well, ladies," said St. Clare, as they were comfortably
seated at the dinner-table, " and what was the bill of fare at
" 0, Dr. .G preached a splendid sermon," said Marie.
"It was just such a sermon as you ought to hear; it ex-
pressed all my views exactly."
"It must have been very improving," said St. Clare.
" The subject must have been an extensive one."
"Well, I mean all my views about society, and such
things," said Marie. " The text was, c He hath made every-
thing beautiful in its season;' and he showed how all the
orders and distinctions in society came from God ; and that it
was so appropriate, you know, and beautiful, that some should
be high and some low, and that some were born to rule and
some to serve, and all that, you know ; and he applied it so
well to all this ridiculous fuss that is made about slavery, and
he proved distinctly that the Bible was on our side, and sup-
264 uncle tom's cabin : or,
ported all our institutions so convincingly. I only wish
you'd heard him."
"0, I didn't need it," said St. Clare. "I can learn
what does me as much good as that from the Picayune, any
time, and smoke a cigar besides ; which I can't do, you know,
in a church."
"Why," said Miss Ophelia, " don't you believe in these
"Who, — I? You know I'm such a graceless dog that
these religious aspects of such subjects don't edify me much.
If I was to say anything on this slavery matter, I would say
out, fair and square, ' We 're in for it ; we 've got 'em, and
mean to keep 'em, — it 's for our convenience and our inter-
est;' for that's the long and short of it, — that's just the
whole of what all this sanctified stuff amounts to, after all ; and
I think that will be intelligible to everybody, everywhere."
" I do think, Augustine, you are so irreverent ! " said
Marie. " I think it 's shocking to hear you talk."
"Shocking! it's the truth. This religious talk on such
matters, — why don't they carry it a little further, and show
the beauty, in its season, of a fellow's taking a glass too much,
and sitting a little too late over his cards, and various prov-
idential arrangements of that sort, which are pretty frequent
among us young men ; — we 'd like to hear that those are
right and godly, too."
"Well," said Miss Ophelia, "do you think slavery right
" I 'm not going to have any of your horrid New England
directness, cousin," said St. Clare, gayly. "If I answer
that question, I know you '11 be at me with half a dozen
others, each one harder than the last; and I 'm not a going to
define my position. I am one of the sort that lives by
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 265
throwing stones at other people's glass houses, but I never
mean to put up one for them to stone."
" That 's just the way he 's always talking," said Marie ;
"you can't get any satisfaction out of him. I believe it's
just because he don't like religion, that he 's always running
out in this way he 's been doing."
"Religion!" said St. Clare, in a tone that made both
ladies look at him. " Religion ! Is what you hear at church
religion ? Is that which can bend and turn, and descend and
ascend, to fit every crooked phase of selfish, worldly society,
religion? Is that religion which is less scrupulous, less
generous, less just, less considerate for man, than even my
own ungodly, worldly, blinded nature ? No ! When I look
for a religion, I must look for something above me, and not
" Then you don't believe that the Bible justifies slavery,"
said Miss Ophelia.
"The Bible was my mother s book," said St. Clare.
" By it she lived and died, and I would be very sorry to
think it did. I 'd as' soon desire to have it proved that my
mother could drink brandy, chew tobacco, and swear, by way
of satisfying me that I did right in doing the same. It
wouldn't make me at all more satisfied with these things in
myself, and it would take from me the comfort of respecting
her ; and it really is a comfort, in this world, to have anything
one can respect. In short, you see," said he, suddenly
resuming his gay tone, " all I want is that different things be
kept in different boxes. The whole frame-work of society,
both in Europe and America, is made up of various things
which will not stand the scrutiny of any very ideal standard
of morality. It 's pretty generally understood that men don't
aspire after the absolute right, but only to do about as well
266 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR,
as the rest of the world. Now, when any one speaks up, like
a man, and says slavery is necessary to us, we can't get
along without it, we should be beggared if we give it up, and,
of course, we mean to hold on to it, — this is strong, clear,
well-defined language ; it has the respectability of truth to it ;
and if we may judge by their practice, the majority of ths
world will bear us out in it. But when he begins to put on
a long face, and bnuffle, and quote Scripture, I incline to
think he is n't much better than he should be."
" You are very uncharitable," said Marie.
"Well," said St. Clare, "suppose that something should
bring down the price of cotton once and forever, and make the
whole slave property a drug in the market, don't you think
we should soon have another version of the Scripture doc-
trine? What a flood of light would pour into the church, all
at once, and how immediately it would be discovered that
everything in the Bible and reason went the other way ! "
" Well, at any rate," said Marie, as she reclined herself on
a lounge, " I'm thankful I'm born where slavery exists ; and
I believe it 's right, — indeed, I feel it must be ; and, at any
rate, I'm sure I couldn't get along without it."
" I say, wb tt do you think, Pussy? " said her father to
Eva, who c?,ne in at this moment, with a flower in her
" What About, papa?"
;' Why, which do you like the best, — to live as they do at
your uncle's, up in Vermont, or to have a house-full of
servants, as we do?"
"0, of course, our way is the pleasantest," said Eva.
" Why so ? " said St. Clare, stroking her head.
" Why, it makes so many more round you to lovo, you
know," said Eva, looking up earnestly.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 267
"Now, that's just like Eva," said Marie; "just one of
her odd speeches."
"Is it an odd speech, papa?" said Eva, whisperingly, a3
she got upon his knee.
" Rather, as this world goes, Pussy," said St. Clare. " But
where has my little Eva been, all dinner-time ? "
"0, I 've been up in Tom's room, hearing him sing, and
Aunt Dinah gave me my dinner."
" Hearing Tom sing, hey ? "
"0, yes ! he sings such beautiful things about the New
Jerusalem, and bright angels, and the land of Canaan."
" I dare say ; it 's better than the opera, is n't it ? "
" Yes, and he 's going to teach them to me."
" Singing lessons, hey? — you are coming on."
"Yes, he sings for me, and I read to him in my Bible ;
and he explains what it means, you know."
" On my word," said Marie, laughing, "that is the latest
joke of the season."
" Tom is n't a bad hand, now, at explaining Scripture, I '11
dare swear," said St. Clare. " Tom has a natural genius for
religion. I wanted the horses out early, this morning, and 1
stole up to Tom's cubiculum there, over the stables, and there
I heard him holding a meeting by himself; and, in fact, T
have n't heard anything quite so savory as Tom's prayer, this
some time. He put in for me, with a zeal that was quite
" Perhaps he guessed you were listening. I've heard of
that trick before."
"If he did, he wasn't very politic ; for he gave the Lord
his opinion of me, pretty freely. Tom seemed to think there
was decidedly room for improvement in me, and seemed very
earnest that I should be converted."
268 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR,
" I hope you '11 lay it to heart," said Miss Ophelia.
" I suppose you are much of the same opinion," said St
Clare. "Well, we shall see, — shan't we, Eva ? "
THE FREEMAN S DEFENCE.
There was a gentle bustle at the Quaker house, arf the
afternoon drew to a close. Rachel Halliday moved quietly
to and fro, collecting from her household stores such need-
ments as could be arranged in the smallest compass, for the
wanderers who were to go forth that night. The afternoon
shadows stretched eastward, and the round red sun stood
thoughtfully on the horizon, and Ms beams shone yellow and
calm into the little bed-room where George and his wife were
sitting. He was sitting with his child on his knee, and his
wife's hand in his. Both looked thoughtful and serious, and
traces of tears were on their cheeks.
" Yes, Eliza," said George, "I know all you say is trua.
You are a good child, — -a great deal better tisan I am ; and I
will try to do as you say. I '11 try to act worthy of a free
man. I '11 try to feel like a Christian. God Almighty knows
that I 've meant to do well, — tried hard to do well, — when
everything has been against me ; and now I '11 forget all the
past, and pi t away every hard and bitter feeling, and read
my Bible, and learn to be a good man."
"And when we get to Canada," said Eliza, "I can helj
you. I can do dress-making very well; and I understand fin
LIEE AMONG THE LOWLY. 26 l J
washing and ironing ; and between us we can find something
to live on."
" Yes, Eliza, so long as we have each other and our boy.
! Eliza, if these people only knew what a blessing it is for
a man to feel that his wife and child belong to him ! I 've
often wondered to see men that could call their wives and
children their own fretting and worrying about anything
else. Why, I feel rich and strong, though we have nothing
but our bare hands. I feel as if I could scarcely ask God for
any more. Yes, though I 've worked hard every day, till I
am twenty-five years old, and have not a cent of money, nor a
roof to cover me, nor a spot of land to call my own, yet, if
they will only let me alone now, I will be satisfied — thank-
ful ; I will work, and send back the money for you and my
boy. As to my old master, he has been paid five times over
for all he ever spent for me. I don't owe him anything."
"But yet we are not quite out of danger," said Eliza; " we
are not yet in Canada."
"True," said George, "but it seems as if I smelt the free
air, and it makes me strong."
At this moment, voices were heard in the outer apartment,
in earnest conversation, and very soon a rap was heard on the
door. Eliza started and opened it.
Simeon Halliday was there, and with him a Quaker brother,
whom he introduced as Phineas Fletcher. Phineas was tall
and lathy, red-haired, with an expression of great acuteness
and shrewdness in his face. He had not the placid, quiet,
unworldly air of Simeon Halliday ; on the contrary, a partic-
ularly wide-awake and au fait appearance, like a man who
rather prides himself on knowing what he is about, and keep-
ing a bright look-out ahead ; peculiarities which sorted rather
oddly with his broad brim and formal phraseology.
270 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
" Our friend Phineas hath discovered something of import-
ance to the interests of thee and thy party, George," said
Simeon ; " it were well for thee to hear it."
" That I have," said Phineas, " and it shows the use of a
man's always sleeping with one ear open, in certain places, as
I 've always said. Last night I stopped at a little lone tav-
ern, back on the road. Thee remembers the place, Simeon,
where we sold some apples, last year, to that fat woman, with
the great ear-rings. Well, I was tired with hard driving ;
and, after my supper, I stretched myself down on a pile of
bags in the corner, and pulled a buffalo over me, to wait
till my bed was ready; and what does I do, but get fast
" With one ear open, Phineas ?" said Simeon, quietly.
" No ; I slept, ears and all, for an hour or two, for I was
pretty well tired ; but when I came to myself a little, I found
that there were some men in the room, sitting round a table,
drinking and talking ; and I thought, before I made much
muster, I 'd just see what they were up to, especially as I
heard them say something about the Quakers. ( So,' says
one, l they are up in the Quaker settlement, no doubt, 5 says
he. Then I listened with both ears, and I found that they
were talking about this very party. So I lay and heard them
lay off all their plans. This young man, they said, was to be
sent back to Kentucky, to his master, who was going to make
an example of him, to keep all niggers from running away ;
and his wife two of them were going to run down to New
Orleans to sell, on their own account, and they calculated to
get sixteen or eighteen hundred dollars for her; and the child,
they said, was going to a trader, who had bought him ; and
then there was the boy, Jim, and his mother, they were to go
back to their masters in Kentucky. They said that there
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 271
were two constables, in a town a little piece ahead, who would
go in with 'em to get 'em taken up, and the young woman
was to be taken before a judge ; and one of the fellows, who
is small and smooth-spoken, was to swear to her for his prop-
erty, and get her delivered over to him to take south.
They 've got a right notion of the track we are going to-
night ; and they '11 be down after us, six or eight strong.
So, now, what 's to be done ? "
The group that stood in various attitudes, after this com-
munication, were worthy of a painter. Rachel Halliday, who
had taken her hands out of a batch of biscuit, to hear the news,
stood with them upraised and floury, and with a face of the
deepest concern. Simeon looked profoundly thoughtful ; Eliza
had thrown her arms around her husband, and was looking up
to him. George stood with clenched hands and glowing eyes,
and looking as any other man might look, whose wife was to
be sold at auction, and son sent to a trader, all under the
shelter of a Christian nation's laws.
" What shall we do, George ?" said Eliza, faintly.
" I know what /shall do," said George, as he stepped into
the little room, and began examining his pistols.
"Ay, ay," said Phineas, nodding his head to Simeon;
"thou seest, Simeon, how it will work."
"I see," said Simeon, sighing; "I pray it come not to
"I don't want to involve any one with or for me," said
jreorge. " If you will lend me your vehicle and direct me, I
will drive alone to the next stand. Jim is a giant in strength,
and brave as death and despair, and so am I."
"Ah, well, friend," said Phineas, "but thee '11 need a
driver, for all that. Thee's quite welcome to do all the fight-
272 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : Oil
ing, thee knows ; but I know a thing or two about the road,
that thee does n't."
" But I don't want to involve you," said George.
11 Involve," said Phineas, with a curious and keen expres-
sion of face. " When thee does involve me, please to let mo
" Phineas is a wise and skilful man," said Simeon. "Thee
does well, George, to abide by his judgment; and," he added,
laying his hand kindly on George's shoulder, and pointing
to the pistols, "be not over hasty with these, — young blood
" I will attack no man," said George. "All I ask of this
country is to be let alone, and I will go out peaceably; but,"
— he paused, and his brow darkened and his face worked, —
" I 've had a sister sold in that New Orleans market. ]
know what they are sold for ; and am I going to stand by
and see them take my wife and sell her, when God has given
me a pair of strong arms to defend her ? No ; God help me !
I '11 fight to the last breath, before they shall take my wife
and son. Can you blame me ? "
" Mortal man cannot blame thee, George. Flesh and blood
could not do otherwise," said Simeon. u Woe unto the world
because of offences, but woe unto them through whom the
" Would not even you, sir, do the same, in my place ?"
" I pray that I be not tried," said Simeon ; " the flesh ia
" I think my flesh would be pretty tolerable strong, in such
a case," said Phineas, stretching out a pair of arms like the
sails of a windmill. "I an't sure, friend George, that I
should n't hold a fellow for thee, if thee had any accounts to
settle with him."
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 273
"If man should ever resist evil," said Simeon, "then
George should feel free to do it now : but the leaders of our
people taught a more excellent way ; for the wrath of man
worketh no i the righteousness of God ; but it goes sorely
against the corrupt will of man, and none can receive it save
they to whom it is given, Let us pray the Lord that we bo
" And so /do, ? said Phineas j "but if we are tempted too
much why, let them look out, that 's all."
" It 's quite plain thee was n't born a Friend," said Sim-
eon, smiling. " The old nature hath its way in thee pretty
strong as yet."
To tell the truth, Phineas had been a hearty, two-fisted
backwoodsman, a vigorous hunter, and a dead shot at a buck;
but, having wooed a pretty Quakeress, had been moved by the
power of her charms to join the society in his neighborhood ;
and though he was an honest, sober, and efficient member,
and nothing particular could be alleged against him, yet the
more spiritual among them could not but discern an exceed-
ing lack of savor in his developments.
"Friend Phineas will ever have ways of his own," said
Rachel Halliday, smiling; "but we all think that his heart
is in the right place, after all." ,
"Well," said George, "isn't it best that we hasten our
" I got up at four o'clock, and came on with all speed, full
two or three hours ahead of them, if they start at the time
they planned. It isn't safe to start till dark, at any rate; for
there are some evil persons in the villages ahead, that might
be disposed to meddle with us, if they saw our wagon, and
that would delay us more than the waiting ; but in two hours
I think we may venture. I will go over to Michael Cross,
274 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
and engage him to come behind on his swift nag, and keep a
bright look-out on the road, and warn us if any company of
men come on. Michael keeps a horse that can soon get ahead
of most other horses ; and he could shoot ahead and let us
know, if there were any danger. I am going out now to warn
Jim and the old woman to be in readiness, and to see about
the horse. We have a pretty fair start, and stand a good
chance to get to the stand before they can come up with us.
So, have good courage, friend George ; this is n't the first
ugly scrape that I've been in with thy people," said Phineas,
as he closed the door.
"Phineas is pretty shrewd," said Simeon. "He will do
the best that can be done for thee, George."
"All I am sorry for," said George, "is the risk to you."
"Thee '11 much oblige us, friend George, to say no more
about that. What we do we are conscience bound to do ; we
can do no other way. And now, mother," said he, turning to
Rachel, "hurry thy preparations for these friends, for we must
not send them away fasting."
And while Rachel and her children were busy making corn-
cake, and cooking ham and chicken, and hurrying on the et
ceteras of the evening meal, George and his wife sat in their
little room, with their arms folded about each other, in such
talk as husband and wife have when they know that a few
hours may part them forever.
"Eliza," said George, "people that have friends, and
houses, and lands, and money, and all those things, carCt
love as we do, who have nothing but each other. Till I knew
you, Eliza, no creature ever had loved me, but my poor, heart-
broken mother and sister. I saw poor Emily that morning
the trader carried her off. She came to the corner where I
was tying asleep, and said, l Poor George, your last friend is
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 275
going. What will become of you, poor boy ? ' And I got up
and threw my arms round her, and cried and sobbed, and she
cried too ; and those were the last kind words I got for ten
long years ; and my heart all withered up, and felt as dry as
ashes, till I met you. And your loving me, — why, it was
almost like raising one from the dead ! I 've been a new
man ever since ! And now, Eliza, I '11 give my last drop of
blood, but they shall not take you from me. Whoever gets
you must walk over my dead body."
" Lord, have mercy!" said Eliza, sobbing. "If he
will only let us get out of this country together, that is all
"Is God on their side ?" said George, speaking less to his
wife than pouring out his own bitter thoughts. "Does he
see all they do ? Why does he let such things happen ?
And they tell us that the Bible is on their side ; certainly all
the power is. They are rich, and healthy, and happy ; they
are members of churches, expecting to go to heaven ; and they
get along so easy in the world, and have it all their own way;
and poor, honest, faithful Christians r — Christians as good or
better than they, — are lying in the very dust under their
feet. They buy 'em and sell 'em, and make trade of their
heart's blood, and groans and tears, — and God lets them."
"Friend George," said Simeon, from the kitchen, "listen
to thi* p salm ; it may do thee good."
George drew his seat near the door, and Eliza, wiping her
tears, came forward also to listen, while Simeon read as fol-
" But as for me, my feet were almost gone ; my steps had
well-nigh slipped. For I was envious of the foolish, when I
saw the prosperity of the wicked. They are not in trouble like
other men, neither are they plagued like other men. There-
276 UNCLE TOM'g CABIN: OR
fore, pride compasseth them as a chain ; violence covereth
them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness ;
they have more than heart could wish. They are corrupt, and
speak wickedly concerning oppression; they speak loftily.
Therefore his people return, and the waters of a full cup are
wrung out to them, and they say, How doth God know ? and
is there knowledge in the Most High? "
" Is not that the way thee feels, George ? "
"It is so, indeed," said George, — "as well as I could
have written it myself."
"Then, hear," said Simeon: "When I thought to know
this, it was too painful for me until I went unto the sanctuary
of God. Then understood I their end. Surely thou didst
set them in slippery places, thou castedst them down to
destruction. As a dream when one awaketh, so, oh Lord,
when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image. Never-
theless, I am continually with thee ; thou hast holden me by
my right hand. Thou shalt guide me by thy counsel, and
afterwards receive me to glory. It is good for me to draw
near unto God. I have put my trust in the Lord God."
The words of holy trust, breathed by the friendly old man,
stole like sacred music over the harassed and chafed spirit of
George ; and after he ceased, he sat with a gentle and sub-
dued expression on his fine features.
"If this world were all, George," said Simeon, "thee
might, indeed, ask, where is the Lord ? But it is often those
who have least of all in this life whom he chooseth for the
kingdom. Put thy trust in him, and, no matter what befalls
thee here, he will make all right hereafter."
If these words had been spoken by some easy, self-indul-
gent exhorter, from whose mouth they might have come
merely as pious and rhetorical flourish, proper to be used to
LIFE AMONv* THE LOWLY. 277
people in distress, perhaps they might not have had much
effect ; but coming from one who daily and calmly risked fine
and imprisonment for the cause of God and man, they had a
weight that could not but be felt, and both the poor, desolate
fugitives found calmness and strength breathing into them
And now Rachel took Eliza's hand kindly, and led tho
way to the supper-table. As they were sitting down, a light
tap sounded at the door, and Ruth entered.
'* I just ran in," she said, "with these little stockings for
the boy, — three pair, nice, warm woollen ones. It will be so
cold, thee knows, in Canada. Does thee keep up good
courage, Eliza?" she added, tripping round to Eliza's side of
the table, and shaking her warmly by the hand, and slipping a
seed-cake into Harry's hand. "I brought a little parcel of
these for him," she said, tugging at her pocket to get out the
package. " Children, thee knows, will always be eating."
" Q, thank you ; you are too kind," said Eliza.
" Come, Ruth, sit down to supper," said Rachel.
"I couldn't, any way. I left John with the baby, and
some biscuits in the oven; and I can't stay a moment, else
John will burn up all the biscuits, and give the baby all the
sugar in the bowl. That's the way he does," said the little
Quakeress, laughing. "So, good-by, Eliza; good-by, George ;
the Lord grant thee a safe journey ; " and, with a few tripping
steps, Ruth was out of the apartment.
A little while after supper, a large covered- wagon drew up
before the door ; the night was clear starlight ; and Phineas
jumped briskly down from his seat to arrange his passengers.
George walked out of the door, with his child on one arm and
his wife on the other. His step was firm, his face settled and
resolute. Rachel and Simeon came out after them.
278 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
" You get out, a moment," said Phineas to those inside,
" and let me fix the back of the wagon, there, for the women-
folks and the boy."
" Here are the two buffaloes," said Eachel. "Make the
seats as comfortable as may be ; it 's hard riding all night."
Jim came out first, and carefully assisted out his old
mother, who clung to his arm, and looked anxiously about, as
if she expected the pursuer every moment.
"Jim, are your pistols all in order?" said George, in a
low, firm voice.
"Yes, indeed," said Jim.
"And you've no doubt what you shall do, if they come?"
"I rather think I haven't," said Jim, throwing open his
broad chest, and taking a deep breath. " Do you think I '11
let them get mother again?"
During this brief colloquy, Eliza had been taking her leave
of her kind friend, Eachel, and was handed into the carriage
by Simeon, and, creeping into the back part with her boy,
sat down among the buffalo-skins. The old woman was next
handed in and seated, and George and Jim placed on a rough
board seat front of them, and Phineas mounted in front.
"Farewell, my friends," said Simeon, from without.
" God bless you ! " answered all from within.
And the wagon drove off, rattling and jolting over the
There was no opportunity for conversation, on account of the
roughness of the way and the noise of the wheels. The
vehicle, therefore, rumbled on, through long, dark stretches of
woodland, — over wide, dreary plains, — up hills, and down
valleys, — and on, on, on they jogged, hour after hour. The
child soon fell asleep, and lay heavily in his mother's lap.
The poor, frightened old woman at last forgot her fears ; and,
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 27$
even Eliza, as the night waned, found all her anxieties insuffi-
cient to keep her eyes from closing. Phineas seemed, on the
whole, the briskest of the company, and beguiled his long
drive with whistling certain very unquaker-like songs, as he
But about three o'clock George's ear caught the hasty and
decided click of a horse's hoof coming behind them at some
distance, and jogged Phineas by the elbow. Phineas pulled
up his horses, and listened.
" That must be Michael," he said; "I think I know the
sound of his gallop ; " and he rose up and stretched his head
anxiously back over the road.
A man riding in hot haste was now dimly descried at the
top of a distant hill.
" There he is, I do believe ! " said Phineas. George and
Jim both sprang out of the wagon, before they knew what they
were doing. All stood intensely silent, with their faces
turned towards the expected messenger. On he came. Now
he went down into a valley, where they could not see him ;
but they heard the sharp, hasty tramp, rising nearer and
nearer; at last they saw him emerge on the top of an
eminence, within hail.
"Yes, that's Michael!" said Phineas; and, raising his
voice, "Halloa, there, Michael!"
"Phineas! is that thee?"
" Yes ; what news — they coming ? "
" Right on behind, eight or ten of them, hot with brandy,
swearing and foaming like so many wolves."
And, just as he spoke, a breeze brought the faint sound of
galloping horsemen towards them.
" In with you, — quick, boys, in! " said Phineas. " If you
must fight, wait till I get you a piece ahead." And,witn
280 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
the word, both jumped in, and Phineas lashed the horses to a
run, the horseman keeping close beside them. The wagon
rattled, jumped, almost flew, over the frozen ground; but
plainer, and still plainer, came the noise of pursuing horse-
men behind. The women heard it, and, looking anxiously
out, saw, >far in the rear, on the brow of a distant hill, a party
of men looming up against the red-streaked sky of early
dawn, Another hill, and their pursuers had evidently caught
sight of their wagon, whose white cloth-covered top made it
conspicuous at some distance, and a loud yell of brutal
triumph came forward on the wind. Eliza sickened, and
strained her child closer to her bosom ; the old woman prayed
and groaned, and George and Jim clenched their pistols with
the grasp of despair. The pursuers gained on them fast ;
the carriage made a sudden turn, and brought them near a
ledge of a steep overhanging rock, that rose in an isolated
ridge or clump in a large lot, which was, all around it, quite
clear and smooth. This isolated pile, or range of rocks, rose
up black and heavy against the brightening sky, and seemed
to promise shelter and concealment. It was a place well
known to Phineas, who had been familiar with the spot in his
hunting days ; and it was to gain this point he had been racing
" Now for it! " said he, suddenly checking his horses, and
springing from his seat to the ground. " Out with you, in a
twinkling, every one, and up into these rocks with me.
Michael, thee tie thy horse to the wagon, and drive ahead to
Amariah's, and get him and his boys to come back and talk
to these fellows."
In a twinkling they were all out of the carriage.
" There," said Phineas, catching up Harry, " you, each
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 281
of you, see to the women ; and run, noiv, if you ever did
There needed no exhortation. Quicker than we can say it,
the whole party were over the fence, making with all speed
for the rocks, while Michael, throwing himself from his horse,
and fastening the bridle to the wagon, began driving it rapidly
" Come ahead," said Phineas, as they reached the rocks,
and saw, in the mingled starlight and dawn, the traces of a
rude but plainly marked foot-path leading up among them ;
" this is one of our old hunting-dens. Come up ! "
Phineas went before, springing up the rocks like a goat,
with the boy in his arms. Jim came second, bearing his
trembling old mother over his shoulder, and George and Eliza
brought up the rear. The party of horsemen came up to
the fence, and, with mingled shouts and oaths, were dismount-
ing, to prepare to follow them. A few moments' scrambling
brought them to the top of the ledge ; the path then passed
between a narrow defile, where only one could walk at a time,
till suddenly they came to a rift or chasm more than a yard
in breadth, and beyond which lay a pile of rocks, separate
from the rest of the ledge, standing full thirty feet high, with
its sides steep and perpendicular as those of a castle. Phineas
easily leaped the chasm, and sat down the boy on a smooth,
flat planorm of crisp white moss, that covered the top of the
" Over with you ! " he called; " spring, now, once, for
your lives ! " said he, as one after another sprang across.
Several fragments of loose stone formed a kind of breast-
work, which sheltered their position from the observation of
" Well, here we all are," said Phineas, peeping over the
282 . UNCLE TOM'S CABIN ; OR,
stone breast- work to watch the assailants, who were coming
tumultously up under the rocks. " Let 'em get us, if they
can. Whoever comes here has to walk single file between
those two rocks, in fair range of your pistols, boys, d'ye
" I do see," said George; "and now, as this matter is
Ours, let us take all the risk, and do all the fighting."
" Thee 's quite welcome to do the fighting, George," said
Phineas, chewing some checkerberry-leaves as he spoke ;
" but I may have the fun of looking on, I suppose. But see,
these fellows are kinder debating down there, and looking up,
like hens when they are going to fly up on to the roost.
Had n't thee better give 'em a word of advice, before they
come up, just to tell 'em handsomely they '11 be shot if they
The party beneath, now more apparent in the light of the
dawn, consisted of our old acquaintances, Tom Loker and
Marks, with two constables, and a posse consisting of such
rowdies at the last tavern as could be engaged by a little
brandy to go and help the fun of trapping a set of niggers.
"Well, Tom, yer coons are farly treed," said one.
"Yes, I see 'em go up right here," said Tom; "and
here 's a path. I'm for going right up. They can't jump
down in a hurry, and it won't take long to ferret 'em out."
" But, Tom, they might fire at us from behind the rocks,"
said Marks. " That would be ugly, you know."
"Ugh!" said Tom, with a sneer. "Always for saving
your skin, Marks ! No danger ! niggers are too plaguy
"I don't know why I shouldn't save* my skin," said
Marks. " It 's the best I've got ; and niggers do fight like
the devil, sometimes."
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 283
At this moment, George appeared on the top of a rock
above them, and, speaking in a calm, clear voice, said,
" Gentlemen, who are you, down there, and what do you
want 1 "
" We want a party of runaway niggers," said Tom Loker.
u One George Harris, and Eliza Harris, and their son, and
Jim Selden, and an old woman. We 've got the officers, here,
and a warrant to take 'em ; and we're going to have 'em, too.
D'ye hear ? An't you George Harris, that belongs to Mr.
Harris, of Shelby county, Kentucky?"
* I am George Harris. A Mr. Harris, of Kentucky, did
call me his property. But now I 'm a free man, standing on
God's free soil ; and my wife and my child I claim as mine,
Jim and his mother are here. We have arms to defend our-
selves, and we mean to do it. You can come up, if you like ;
but the first one of you that comes within the range of our
bullets is a dead man, and the next, and the next ; and so on
till the last."
" 0, come ! come ! " said a short, puffy man, stepping
forward, and blowing his nose as he did so. " Young man,
this an't no kind of talk at all for you. You see, we 're
officers of justice. We 've got the law on our side, and the
power, and so forth; so you'd better give up peaceably, you
see ; for you '11 certainly have to give up, at last."
" I know very well that you 've got the law on your side,
and the power," said George, bitterly. "You mean to take
my wife to sell in New Orleans, and put my boy like a calf
in a trader's pen, and send Jim's old mother to the brute that
whipped and abused her before, because he couldn't abuse
her son. You want to send Jim and me back to be whipped
and tortured, and ground down under the heels of them that
you call masters ; and your laws will bear you out in it, —
284 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OB,
more shame for you and them ! But you have n't got us.
"We don't own your laws ; we don't own your country ; we
stand here as free, under God's sky, as you are ; and, by the
great God that made us, we '11 fight for our liberty till we
George stood out in fair sight, on the top of the rock, as he
made his declaration of independence ; the glow of dawn
gave a flush to his swarthy cheek, and bitter indignation and
despair gave fire to his dark eye ; and, as if appealing from
man to the justice of God, he raised his hand to heaven as h j
If it had been only a Hungarian youth, now bravely
defending in some mountain fastness the retreat of fugi-
tives escaping from Austria into America, this would have
been sublime heroism; but as it was a youth of African
descent, defending the retreat of fugitives through America
into Canada, of course we are too well instructed and patriotic
to see any heroism in it ; and if any of our readers do, they
must do it on their own private responsibility. When de-
spairing Hungarian fugitives make their way, against all the
search-warrants and authorities of their lawful government,
to America, press and political cabinet ring with applause and
welcome. When despairing African fugitives do the same
thing, — it is — what is it?
Be it as it may, it is certain that the attitude, eye, voice,
manner, of the speaker, for a moment struck the party below
to silence. There is something in boldness and determination
that for a time hushes even the rudest nature. Marks was
the only one who remained wholly untouched. He was
deliberately cocking his pistol, and, in the momentary silence
that followed George's speech, he fired at him.
" Ye see ye get jist as much for him dead as alive in
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 285
Kentucky," he said, coolly, as lie wiped his pistol on his coat-
George sprang backward, — Eliza uttered a shriek, — the
ball had passed close to his hair, had nearly grazed the cheek
of his wife, and struck in the tree above.
"It's nothing, Eliza," said George, quickly.
" Thee'd better keep out of sight, with thy speechifying,"
said. Phineas ; " they 're mean scamps."
" Now, Jim," said George, " look that your pistols are all
right, and watch that pass with me. The first man that shows
himself I fire at ; you take the second, and so on. It won't
do, you know, to waste two shots on one."
" But what if you don't hit? "
"I shall hit" said George, coolly.
"Good! now, there's stuff in that fellow," muttered
Phineas, between his teeth.
The party below, after Marks had fired, stood, for a
moment, Tather undecided.
" I think you must have hit some on 'em," said one of the
men. " I heard a squeal ! "
"I'm going right up for one," said Tom. "I never was
afraid of niggers, and I an't going to be now. Who goes
after ? " he said, springing up the rocks.
George heard the words distinctly. He drew up his pistol,
examined it, pointed it towards that point in the defile where
the first man would appear.
One of the most courageous of the party followed Tom,
and, the way being thus made, the whole party began push-
ing up the rock, — the hindermost pushing the front ones faster
than they would have gone of themselves. On they came,
and in a moment the burly form of Tom appeared in sight,
almost at the verge of the chasm.
286 VKCLh loM'S CAliljy . Oft,
George fired, — the shot entered his side, — but, though
wounded, he would not retreat, but, with a yell like that of a
mad bull, he was leaping right across the chasm into the
" Friend," said Phineas, suddenly stepping to the front,
and meeting him with a push from his long arms, "thee isn't
Down he fell into the chasm, crackling down among trees,
bushes, logs, loose stones, till he lay, bruised and groaning,
thirty feet below. The fall might have killed him, had it not
been broken and moderated by his clothes catching in the
branches of a large tree ; but he came down with some force,
however, — more than was at all agreeable or convenient.
" Lord help us, they are perfect devils ! " said Marks,
heading the retreat down the rocks with much more of a will
than he had joined the ascent, while all the party came tum-
bling precipitately after him, — the fat constable, in particular,
blowing and puffing in a very energetic manner.
" I say, fellers," said Marks, " you jist go round and pick
up Tom, there, while I run and get on to my horse, to go back
for help, — that's you;" and, without minding the hootings
and jeers of his company, Marks was as good as his word,
and was soon seen galloping away.
"Was ever such a sneaking varmint?" said one of the
men; "to come on his business, and he clear out and leave
us this yer way! "
" Well, we must pick up that feller," said another. "Cuss
me if I much care whether he is dead or alive."
The men, led by the groans of Tom, scrambled and crackled
through stumps, logs and bushes, to where that hero lay
groaning and swearing, with alternate vehemence.
LIFE AMONG THE L&WLY. 287
"Ye keep it agoing pretty loud, Tom," said one. "Ye
" Don't know. Get me up, can't ye ? Blast that infernal
Quaker ! If it had n't been for him, I'da pitched some on
'em down here, to see how they liked it."
With much labor and groaning, the fallen hero was assisted
to rise ; and, with one holding him up under each shoulder,
they got him as far as the horses.
" If you could only get me a mile back to that ar tavern.
Give me a handkerchief or something, to stuff into this place,
and stop this infernal bleeding."
George looked over the rocks, and saw them trying to lift
the burly form of Tom into the saddle. After two or three
ineffectual attempts, he reeled, and fell heavily to the ground.
u O, I hope he is n't killed ! " said Eliza, who, with all the
party, stood watching the proceeding.
" Why not? " said Phineas ; " serves him right."
" Because, after death comes the judgment," said Eliza.
"Yes," said the old woman, who had been groaning and
praying, in her Methodist fashion, during all the encounter,
" it 's an awful case for the poor crittur's soul."
" On my word, they 're leaving him, I do believe," said
It was true ; for after some appearance of irresolution and
consultation, the whole party got on their horses and rode
away. When they were quite out of sight, Phineas began to
" Well, we must go down and walk a piece," he said. "I
told Michael to go forward and bring help, and be along back
here with the wagon ; but we shall have to walk a piece along
the road, I reckon, to meet them. The Lord grant he be
along soon ! It 's early in the day ; there won't be much
288 UNOLE TOM'S CABIN: OB,
travel afoot yet a while; we an't much more than two miles
from our stopping-place. If the road had n't been so rough
last night, we could have outrun 'em entirely."
As the party neared the fence, they discovered in the dis-
tance, along the road, their own wagon coming back, accom-
panied by some men on horseback.
"Well, now, there 's Michael, and Stephen, and Amariah,"
exclaimed Phineas, joyfully. " Now we are made, — as safe
as if we 'd got there."
" Well, do stop, then," said Eliza, " and do something for
that poor man ; he 's groaning dreadfully."
"It would be no more than Christian," said George ; " let 's
take him up and carry him on."
" And doctor him up among the Quakers ! " said Phineas ;
" pretty well, that ! Well, I don't care if we do. Here, let 's
have a look at him; " and Phineas, who, in the course of his
hunting and backwoods life, had acquired some rude experi-
ence of surgery, kneeled down by the wounded man, and
began a careful examination of his condition.
" Marks," said Tom, feebly, " is that you, Marks ? "
"No; I reckon 'tan't, friend," said Phineas. "Much
Marks cares for thee, if his own skin 's safe. He 's off, long
"I believe I'm done for," said Tom. "The cussed
sneaking dog, to leave me to die alone ! My poor old mother
always told me 't would be so."
"La sakes ! jist hear the poor crittur. He 's got a
mammy, now," said the old negress. "I can't help kinder
pityin' on him."
" Softly, softly; don't thee snap and snarl, friend," said
Phineas, as Tom winced and pushed his hand away. " Thee
has no chance, unless I stop the bleeding." And Phineas
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 289
busied himself with making some off-hand surgical arrange-
ments with his own pocket-handkerchief, and such as could be
mustered in the company.
" You pushed me down there," said Tom, faintly.
" Well, if I hadn't, thee would have pushed us down, thee
sees," said Phineas, as he stooped to apply his bandage.
" There, there, — let me fix this bandage. We mean well to
thee ; we bear no malice. Thee shall be taken to a house
where they '11 nurse thee first rate, — as well as thy own
Tom groaned, and shut his eyes. In men of his class,
vigor and resolution are entirely a physical matter, and ooze
out with the flowing of the blood ; and the gigantic fellow
really looked piteous in his helplessness.
The other party now came up. The seats were taken out
of the wagon. The buffalo-skins, doubled in fours, were
spread all along one side, and four men, with great diffi-
culty, lifted the heavy form of Tom into it. Before he was
gotten in, he fainted entirely. The old negress, in the abun-
dance of her compassion, sat down on the bottom, and took
his head in her lap. Eliza, George and Jim, bestowed them-
selves, as well as they could, in the remaining space, and the
whole party set forward.
" What do you think of him? " said George, who sat by
Phineas in front.
"Well, it's only a pretty deep flesh-wound; but, then
tumbling and scratching down that place did n't help him
much. It has bled pretty freely — pretty much dreaned
him out, courage and all, — but he '11 get over it, and may be
learn a thing or two by it."
" I 'm glad to hear you say so," said George. " It would
290 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
always be a heavy thought to me, if I 'd caused his death,
even in a just cause."
" Yes," said Phineas, " killing is an ugly operation, any way
they '11 fix it, — man or beast. I 've been a great hunter, in
my day, and I tell thee I've seen a buck that was shot
down, and a dying, look that way on a feller with his eye, that
it reely most made a feller feel wicked for killing on him ; and
human creatures is a more serious consideration yet, bein', as
thy wife says, that the judgment comes to 'em after death,
So I don't know as our people's notions on these matters is
too strict ; and, considerin' how I was raised, I fell in with
them pretty considerably."
" What shall you do with this poor fellow? " said George.
" 0, carry him along to Amariah's. There's old Grand-
mam Stephens there, — Dorcas, they call her, — she 'p most an
amazin' nurse. She takes to nursing real natural, and an't
never better suited than when she gets a sick body to tend.
We may reckon on turning him over to her for a fortnight or
A ride of about an hour more brought the party to a neat
farm-house, where the weary travellers were received to an
abundant breakfast. Tom Loker was soon carefully deposited
in a much cleaner and softer bed than he had ever been in
the habit of occupying. His wound was carefully dressed
and bandaged, and he lay languidly opening and shutting his
eyes on the white window-curtains and gently-gliding figures
of his sick room, like a weary child. And here, for the
present, we shall take our leave of one party.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 29.1
MISS OPHELIA'S EXPERIENCES AND OPINIONS.
Our friend Tom, in his own simple musings, often com-
pared his more fortunate lot, in the bondage into which he was
cast, with that of Joseph in Egypt ; and, in fact, as time went
on, and he developed more and more under the eye of his
master, the strength of the parallel increased.
St. Clare was indolent and careless of money. Hitherto
the providing and marketing had been principally done by
Adolph, who was, to the full, as careless and extravagant as
his master ; and, between them both, they had carried on the
dispersing process with great alacrity. Accustomed, for many
years, to regard his master's property as his own care, Tom
saw, with an uneasiness he could scarcely repress, the waste-
ful expenditure of the establishment; and, in the quiet,
indirect way which his class often acquire, would sometimes
make his own suggestions.
St. Clare at first employed him occasionally ; but, struck
TUth his soundness of mind and good business capacity, he
confided in him more and more, till gradually all the market-
ing and providing for the family were intrusted to him.
" No, no, Adolph," he said, one day, as Adolph was depre-
cating- the passing of power out of his hands; "let Tom alone.
You only understand what you want ; Tom understands cost
and come to ; and there may be some end to money, bye
and bye if we don't let somebody do that."
292 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
Trusted to an unlimited extent by a careless master, who
handed him a hill without looking at it, and pocketed the
change without counting it, Tom had every facility and
temptation to dishonesty; and nothing but an impregnable
simplicity of nature, strengthened by Christian faith, could
have kept him from it. But, to that nature,, the very
unbounded trust reposed in him was bond and seal for the
most scrupulous accuracy.
With Adolph the case had been different. Thoughtless
and self-indulgent, and unrestrained by a master who found
it easier to indulge than to regulate, he had fallen into an
absolute confusion as to meum, tunm with regard to him-
self and his master, which sometimes troubled even St.
Clare. His own good sense taught Mm that such a training
of his servants was unjust and dangerous. A sort of chronic
remorse went with him everywhere, although not strong
enough to make any decided change in his course ; and this
very remorse reacted again into indulgence. He passed
lightly over the most serious faults, because he told himself
that, if he had done his part, his dependents had not fallen
Tom regarded his gay, airy, handsome young master with
an odd mixture of fealty, reverence, and fatherly solicitude.
That he never read the Bible ; never went to church ; that
he jested and made free with any and every thing that came
m the way of his wit ; that he spent his Sunday evenings at
the opera or theatre ; that he went to wine parties, and clubs,
and suppers, oftener than was at all expedient, — were all
things that Tom could see as plainly as anybody, and on
which he based a conviction that " Mas'r wasn't a Chris-
tian;" — a conviction, however, which he would have been
very slow to express to any one else, but on which he founded
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 293
many prayers, in his own simple fashion, when »he was by
himself in his little dormitory. Not that Tom had not his
own way of speaking his mind occasionally, with something
of the tact often observable in his class ; as, for example, the
very day after the Sabbath we have described, St. Clare was
invited out t*> a convivial party of choice spirits, and was
helped home, between one and two o'clock at night, in a con-
dition when the physical had decidedly attained the upper
hand of the intellectual. Tom and Adolph assisted to get
him composed for the night, the latter in high spirits, evi-
dently regarding the matter as a good joke, and laughing
heartily at the rusticity of Tom's horror, who really was sim-
ple enough to lie awake most of the rest of the night, praying
for his young master.
"Well,* Tom, what are you waiting for?" said St. Clare,
the next day, as he sat in his library, in dressing-gowii and
slippers. St. Clare had just been intrusting Tom with some
money, and various commissions. " Is n't all right there,
Tom? " he added, as Tom still stood waiting.
" I 'm 'fraid not, Mas'r," said Tom, with a grave face.
St. Clare laid down his paper, and set down his coffee-cup,
and looked at Tom.
" Why, Tom, what 's the case? You look as solemn as a
"I feel very bad, Mas'r. I allays have thought that
Mas'r would be good to everybody."
" Well, Tom, haven't I been? Come, now, what do you
want? There 's something you haven't got, I suppose, and
this is the preface."
"Mas'r allays been good to me. I haven't nothing to
complain of, on that head. But there is one that Mas'r is n't
294 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
" Why, Tom, what 's got into you? Speak out; what do
" Last night, between one and two, I thought so. I
studied upon the matter then. Mas'r is n't good to him-
Tom said this with his back to his master, and his hand on
the door-knob. St. Clare felt his face flush crimson, but he
" 0, that 's all, is it ? " he said, gayly.
" All ! " said Tom, turning suddenly round and falling on
his knees. " 0, my dear young Mas'r ! I 'm 'fraid it will
be loss of all — all — body and soul. The good Book says,
1 it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder ! ' my
dear Mas'r ! "
Tom's voice choked, and the tears ran down his cheeks.
"You poor, silly fool!" said St. Clare, with tears in his
own eyes. " Get up, Tom. I 'm not worth crying over."
But Tom wouldn't rise, and looked imploring.
" Well, I won't go to any more of their cursed nonsense,
Tom," said St. Clare; u on my honor, I won't. I don't
know why I haven't stopped long ago. I've always
despised it, and myself for it, — so now, Tom, wipe up your
eyes, and go about your errands. Come, come," he added,
" no blessings. I 'm not so wonderfully good, now," he said,
as he gently pushed Tom to the door. " There, I '11 pledge
my honor to you, Tom, you don't see me so again," he said;
and Tom went off, wiping his eyes, with great satisfaction.
"I '11 keep my faith with him, too," said St. Clare, as he
closed the door.
And St. Clare did so, — for gross sensualism, in any form,
was not the peculiar temptation of his nature.
But, all this time, who shall detail the tribulations manifold
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 295
of our friend Miss Ophelia, who had begun the labors of a
Southern housekeeper ?
There is all the difference in the world in the servants of
Southern establishments, according to the character and
capacity of the mistresses who have brought them up.
South as well as north, there are women who have an
extraordinary talent for command, and tact in educating.
Such are enabled, with apparent ease, and without severity,
to subject to their will, and bring into harmonious and sys-
tematic order, the various members of their small estate, — to
regulate their peculiarities, and so balance and compensate
the deficiencies of one by the excess of another, as to produce
a harmonious and orderly system.
Such a housekeeper was Mrs. Shelby, whom we have
already described ; ' and such our readers may remember to
have met with. If they are not common at the South, it is
because they are not common in the world. They are to be
found there as often as anywhere ; and, when existing, find in
that peculiar state of society a brilliant opportunity to exhibit
their domestic talent.
Such a housekeeper Marie St. Clare was not, nor her
mother before her. Indolent and childish, unsystematic and
improvident, it was not to be expected that servants trained
under her care should not be so likewise ; and she had very
justly described to Miss Ophelia the state of confusion she
would find in the family, though she had not ascribed it tG
the proper cause.
The first morning of her regency, Miss Ophelia was up at
four o'clock ; and having attended to all the adjustments of
her own chamber, as she had done ever since she came there,
to the great amazement of the chamber-maid, she prepared
296 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN ; OR,
for a vigorous onslaught on the cupboards and closets of the
establishment of which she had the keys.
The store-room, the linen-presses, the china-closet, the
kitchen and cellar, that day, all went under an awful review.
Hidden things of darkness were brought to light to an extent
that alarmed all the principalities and powers of kitchen and
chamber, and caused many wonderings and murmurings
about "dese yer northern ladies" from the domestic cabinet.
Old Dinah, the head cook, and principal of all rule and
authority in the kitchen department, was filled with wrath at
what she considered an invasion of privilege. No feudal
baron in Magna Chart a times could have more thoroughly
resented some incursion of the crown.
Dinah was a character in her own way, and it would be
injustice to her memory not to give the reader a little idea of
her. She was a native and essential cook, as much as Aunt
Chloe, — cooking being an indigenous talent of the African
race ; but Chloe was a trained and methodical one, who
moved in an orderly domestic harness, while Dinah was a
self-taught genius, and, like geniuses in general, was positive,
opinionated and erratic, to the last degree.
Like a certain class of modern philosophers, Dinah per-
fectly scorned logic and reason in every shape, and always
took refuge in intuitive certainty ; and here she was perfectly
impregnable. No possible amount of talent, or authority, or
explanation, could ever make her believe that any other way
was better than her own, or that the course she had pursued
in the smallest matter could be in the least modified. This
had been a conceded point with her old mistress, Marie's
mother; and "Miss Marie," as Dinah always called her
young mistress, even after her marriage, found it easier to
submit than contend; and so Dinah had ruled supreme.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 297
This was the easier, in that she was perfect mistress of that
diplomatic art which unites the utmost subservience of manner
with the utmost inflexibility as to measure.
Dinah was mistress of the whole art and mystery of
excuse-making, in all its branches. Indeed, it was an axiom
with her that the cook can do no wrong ; and a cook in a
Southern kitchen finds abundance of heads and shoulders on
which to lay off every sin and frailty, so as to maintain her
own immaculateness entire. If any part of the dinner was a
failure, there were fifty indisputably good reasons for it ; and
it was the fault undeniably of fifty other people, whom Dinah
berated with unsparing zeal.
But it was very seldom that there was any failure in
Dinah's last results. Though her mode of doing everything
was peculiarly meandering and circuitous, and without any
sort of calculation as to time and place, — though her kitchen
generally looked as if it had been arranged by a hurricane
blowing through it, and she had about as many places for
each cooking utensil as there were days in the year, — yet, if
one would have patience to wait her own good time, up would
come her dinner in perfect order, and in a style of prepara-
tion with which an epicure could find no fault.
It was now the season of incipient preparation for dinner.
Dinah, who required large intervals of reflection and repose,
and was studious of ease in all her arrangements, was seated
on the kitchen floor, smoking a short, stumpy pipe, to which
she was much addicted, and which she always kindled up, as
a sort of censer, whenever she felt the need of an inspiration
in her arrangements. It was Dinah's mode of invoking the
Seated around her were various members of that rising
race with which a Southorn household abounds, engaged in
293 uncle tom's cabin : or
shelling peas, peeling potatoes, picking pin-feathers out of
fowls, and other preparatory arrangements, — Dinah every
once in a while interrupting her meditations to give a poke,
or a rap on the head, to some of the young operators, with
the pudding-stick that lay by her side. In fact, Dinah ruled
over the w T oolly heads of the younger members with a rod of
iron, and seemed to consider them born for no earthly pur-
pose but to "save her steps," as she phrased it. It was the
spirit of the system under which she had grown up, and she
carried it out to its full extent.
Miss Ophelia, after passing on her reformatory tour through
all the other parts of the establishment, now entered the
kitchen. Dinah had heard, from various sources, what was
going on, and resolved to stand onjflefensive and conservative
ground, — mentally determined to oppose and ignore every
new measure, without any actual and observable contest.
The kitchen was a large brick-floored apartment, with a
great old-fashioned fireplace stretching along one side of
it, — an arrangement which St. Clare had vainly tried to
persuade Dinah to exchange for the convenience of a modern
cook-stove. Not she. No Puseyite, or conservative of any
school, was ever more inflexibly attached to time-honored
incuiveniencies than Dinah.
When St. Clare had first returned from the north, im
pressed with the system and order of his uncle's kitchen
.'jnangements, he had largely provided his own with an array
of cupboards, drawers, and various apparatus, to induce
systematic regulation, under the sanguine illusion that it
would be of any possible assistance to Dinah in her arrange-
ments. He might as well have provided them for a squirrel
or a magpie. The more drawers and closets there were, the
more hiding-holes could Dinah make for the accommodation
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 299
of old rags, hair-combs, old shoes, ribbons, cast-off artificial
flowers, and other articles of verttij wherein her soul
When Miss Ophelia entered the kitchen, Dinah did not
rise, but smoked on in sublime tranquillity, regarding her
movements obliquely out of the corner of her eye. but
apparently intent only on the operations around her,
Miss Ophelia commenced opening a set of drawers.
" What is this drawer for, Dinah? " she said.
"It's handy for most anything, Missis," said Dinah. So
it appeared to be. From the variety it contained, Miss
Ophelia pulled out first a fine damask table-cloth stained
with blood, having evidently been used to envelop some raw
" What's this, Dinah? You don't wrap up meat in your
mistress' best table-cloths ? "
"0 Lor, Missis, no; the towels was all a missin', — so I
jest did it. I laid out to wash that ar, — that 's why I put it
" Shif 'less !" said Miss Ophelia to herself, proceeding to
tumble over the drawer, where she found a nutmeg-grater
and two or three nutmegs, a Methodist hymn-book, a couple
of soiled Madras handkerchiefs, some yarn and knitting-work,
a paper of tobacco and a pipe, a few crackers, one or two
gilded china-saucers with some pomade in them, one or two
thin old shoes, a piece of flannel careful^ pinned up enclos-
ing some small white onions, several damask table-napkins,
some coarse crash towels, some twine and darning-needles,
and several broken papers, from which sundry sweet herbs
were sifting into the drawer.
"Where do you keep your nutmegs, Dinah?" said Miss
Ophelia, with the air of one who prayed for patience.
300 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
" Most anywhar, Missis ; there 's some in that cracked tea-
cup, up there, and there 's some over in that ar cupboard."
" Here are some in the grater, 7 ' said Miss Ophelia, holding
"Laws, yes, I put 'em there this morning, — I likes to
keep my things handyj" said Dinah. " You, Jake ! what
are you stopping for ! You '11 cotch it ! Be still, thar ! "
she added, with a dive of her stick at the criminal.
" What 's this ?" said Miss Ophelia, holding up the saucer
"Laws, it's my har grease; — I put it thar to have it
" Do you use your mistress' best saucers fdr that? "
"Law! it w T as cause I was driv, and in sich a hurry; —
I was gwine to change it this very day."
" Here are two damask table-napkins."
"Them table-napkins I put thar, to get 'em washed out,
" Don't you have some place here on purpose for things to
" Well, Mas'r St. Clare got dat ar chest, he said, for dat ;
but I likes to mix up biscuit and hev my things on it some
days, and then it an't handy a liftin' up the lid."
" Why don't you mix your biscuits on the pastry-table,
"Law, Missis, it gets sot so full of dishes, and one thing
and another, der an't no room, noways — "
" Bat you should wash your dishes, and clear them away."
"Wash my dishes ! " said Dinah, in a high key, as her
wrath began to rise over her habitual respect of manner;
"what does ladies know 'bout work, I want to know?
When 'd Mas'r ever get his dinner, if I was to spend all my
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 801
time a washin' and a puttin' up dishes ? Miss Marie never
telled me so, nohow."
" Well, here are these onions."
" Laws, yes ! " said Dinah ; " thar is whar I put 'em, now.
I could n't 'member. Them 's particular onions I was a
savin' for dis yer very stew. I 'd forgot they was in dut
ar old flannel."
Miss Ophelia lifted out the sifting papers of sweet herbs.
"I wish Missis wouldn't touch dem ar. I likes to keep
my things where I knows whar to go to ? em," said Dinah
" But you don't want these holes in the papers."
11 Them 's handy for siftin' on 't out," said Dinah.
" But you see it spills all over the drawer."
" Laws, yes ! if Missis will go a tumblin' things all up so,
it will. Missis has spilt lots dat ar way," said Dinah, coming
uneasily to the drawers. "If Missis only will go up stars
till my clarin'. up time comes, I '11 have everything right ; but
I can't do nothin' when ladies is round, a henderin'. You,
Sam, don't you gib the baby dat ar sugar-bowl ! I '11 crack
ye over, if ye don't mind ! "
" I 'm going through the kitchen, and going to put every-
thing in order, once, Dinah ; and then I '11 expect you to keep
" Lor, now ! Miss Phelia; dat ar an't no way for ladies to
do. I never did see ladies doin' no sich ; my old Missis nor
Miss Marie never did, and I don't see no kinder need on 't;"
and Dmah stalked indignantly about, while Miss Ophelia
piled and sorted dishes, emptied dozens of scattering bowls of
sugar into one receptacle, sorted napkins, table-cloths, and
towels, for washing; washing, wiping, and arranging with
302 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
her own hands, and with a speed and alacrity which perfectly
" Lor, now ! if dat ar de way dem northern ladies do, dey
an't ladies, nohow," she said to some of her satellites, when
at a safe hearing distance. " I has things as straight as
anybody, when my clarin' up time comes ; but I don't want
ladies round, a henderin', and getting my things all where I
can't find 'em."
To do Dinah justice, she had, at irregular periods, paroxysms
of reformation and arrangement, which she called "clarin' up
times," when she would begin with great zeal, and turn every
drawer and closet wrong side outward, on to the floor or
tables, and make the ordinary confusion seven-fold more con-
founded. Then she would light her pipe, and leisurely go
over her arrangements, looking things over, and discoursing
upon them; making all the young fry scour most vigorously
on the tin things, and keeping up for several hours a most
energetic state of confusion, which she would explain to the
satisfaction of all inquirers, by the remark that she was a
"clarin' up." "She couldn't hev things a gwine on so as
they had been, and she was gwine to make these yer young
ones keep better order ; " for Dinah herself, somehow, indulged
the illusion that she, herself, was the soul of order, and it
was only the young wis, and the everybody else in the house,
that were the cause of anything that fell short of perfection
in this respect. When all the tins were scoured, and the tables
scrubbed snowy white, and everything that could offend
tucked out of sight in holes and corners, Dinah would dress
herself up in a smart dress, clean apron, and high, brilliant
Madras turban, and tell all marauding " young uns" to keep
out of the kitchen, for she was gwine to have things kept
nice. Indeed, these periodic seasons were often an incon-
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 303
venience to the whole household ; for Dinah would contract
such an immoderate attachment to her scoured tin, as to insist
upon it that it should n't be used again for any possible pur-
pose, — at least till the ardor of the "clarin' up" period
Miss Ophelia, in a few days, thoroughly reformed every
department of the house to a systematic pattern ; but hei
labors in all departments that depended on the cooperation of
servants were like those of Sisyphus or the Danaides. In
despair, she one day appealed to St. Clare.
" There is no such thing as getting anything like system
in this family ! "
" To be sure, there isn't," said St. Clare.
" Such shiftless management, such waste, such confusion,
I never saw ! "
" I dare say you did n't."
"You would not take it so coolly, if you were house-
' ' My dear cousin, you may as well understand, once for
all, that we masters are divided into two classes, oppressors
and oppressed. We who are good-natured and hate severity
make up our minds to a good deal of inconvenience. If we
will keep a shambling, loose, untaught set in the com-
munity, for our convenience, why, we must take the con-
sequence. Some rare cases ± have seen, of persons, who,
by a peculiar tact, can produce order and system without
severity ; but I'm not one of them, — and so I made up my
mind, long ago. to let things go just as they do. I will not
have the poor devils thrashed and cut to pieces, and they
know it, — and, of course, they know the staff is in their own
804 UNCLE TOM*S CABIN: OR,
"But to have no time, no place, no order, — all going ai
in this shiftless way ! "
" My dear Vermont, you natives up by the North Pole set
an extravagant value on time ! What on earth is the use of
time to a fellow who has twice as much of it as he knows
what to do with? As to order and system, where there is
nothing to be done but to lounge on the sofa and read, an
hour sooner or later in breakfast or dinner is n't of much
account. Now, there 's Dinah gets you a capital dinner, —
soup, ragout, roast fowl, dessert, ice-creams and all, — and she
creates it all out of chaos and old night dow T n there, in that
kitchen. I think it really sublime, the way she manages.
But, Heaven bless us ! if w T e are to go down there, and view
all the smoking and squatting about, and hurryscurryation
of the preparatory process, w r e should never eat more ! My
good cousin, absolve yourself from that ! It 's more than a
Catholic penance, and does no more good. You ; 11 only lose
your own temper, and utterly confound Dinah. • Let her go
her own way."
" But, Augustine, you don't know how I found things."
" Don't I? Don't I know that the rolling-pin is under
her bed, and the nutmeg-grater in her pocket with her
tobacco, — that there are sixty-five different sugar-bowls, one in
every hole in the house, — that she washes dishes with a dinner-
napkin one day, and with a fragment of an old petticoat the
next? But the upshot is, she gets up glorious dinners, makes
superb coffee; and you must judge her as warriors and states-
men are judged, by her success"
" But the waste, — the expense! "
"0, well ! Lock everything you can, and keep the key,
Give out by driblets, and never inquire for odds and ends,
--it is n'tf best. '
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 305
" That troubles me, Augustine. I can't help feeling as if
these servants were not strictly honest. Are you sure they
can be relied on?"
Augustine laughed immoderately at the grave and anxious
face with which Miss Ophelia propounded the question.
c '0 5 cousin, that's too good, — honest I — as if that's a
thing to be expected ! Honest ! — why, of course, they
arn't Why should they be ? What upon earth is to make
" Why don't you instruct ? "
M Instruct! 0, fiddlestick! W r hat instructing do you
think I should do ? I look like it ! As to Marie, she has
spirit enough, to be sure, to kill off a whole plantation, if I 'd
let her manage ; but she wouldn't get the cheatery out of
" Are there no honest ones ? "
"Well, now and then one, whom Nature makes so imprac-
ticably simple, truthful and faithful, that the worst possible
influence can't destroy it. But, you see, from the mother's
breast the colored child feels and sees that there are none but
underhand ways open to it. It can get along no other way
with its parents, its mistress, its young master and missie play-
fellows. Cunning and deception become necessary, inevitable
habits. It is n't fair to expect anything else of him. He
ought not to be punished for it. As to honesty, the slave is
kept in that dependent, semi-childish state, that there is
no making him realize the rights of property, or feel that his
master's goods are not his own, if he can get them. For my
part, I don't see how they can be honest. Such a fellow as
Tom, here, is — is a moral miracle ! "
" And what becomes of their souls ?" said Miss Ophelia.
" That is n't my affair . as I know of," said St. Clare } "I
306 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR,
am only dealing in facts of the present life. The fact is,
that the whole race are pretty generally understood to be
turned over to the devil, for our benefit, in this world, how-
eve] it may turn out in another ! "
"This is perfectly horrible!" said Miss Ophelia; "you
ought to be ashamed of yourselves ! "
4 1 don't know as I am. We are in pretty good company,
for all that," said St. Clare. " as people in the broad road
generally are. Look at the high and the low, all the world
over, and it's the same story, — the lower class used up,
body, soul and spirit, for the good of the upper. It is so in
England ; it is so everywhere ; and yet all Christendom
stands aghast, with virtuous indignation, because we do the
thing in a little different shape from what they do it."
" It isn't so in Vermont."
" Ah, well, in New England, and in the free States, you
have the better of us, I grant. But there 's the bell ; so,
Cousin, let us for a while lay aside our sectional prejudices,
and come out to dinner."
As Miss Ophelia was in the kitchen in the Latter part of
the afternoon, some of the sable children called out, " La,
sakes ! thar 's Prue a coming, grunting along like she allers
A tall, bony colored woman now entered the kitchen,
bearing on her head a basket of rusks and hot rolls.
" Ho, Prue ! you 've come," said Dinah.
Prue had a peculiar scowling expression of countenance /
and a sullen, grumbling voice. She set down her basket,
squatted herself down, and resting her elbows on her knees
"OLord! I wish 't I's dead!"
" Why do you wish you were dead 1 " said Miss Ophelia.
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY.
" I 'd be out o' my misery," said the woman, gruffly, with-
out taking her eyes from the floor.
"What need you getting drunk, then, and cutting up,
Prue ? " said a spruce quadroon chambermaid, dangling, as
she spoke, a pair of coral ear-drops.
The woman looked at her with a sour, surly glance.
"Maybe you '11 come to it, one of these yer days. I 'd be
glad to see you, I would ; then you '11 be glad of a drop, like
me, to forget your misery."
"Come, Prue," said Dinah, "let's look at your rusks.
Here's Missis will pay for them."
Miss Ophelia took out a couple of dozen.
"Thar's some tickets in that ar old cracked jug on the
top shelf," said Dinah. "You, Jake, climb up and get it
" Tickets,— what are they for ? " said Miss Ophelia.
" We buys tickets of her Mas'r, and she gives us bread for
1 ' And they counts my money and tickets, when I gets
home, to see if I 's got the change ; and if I han't, they half
" And serves you right," said Jane, the pert chambermaid,
" if you will take their money to get drunk on. That's
what she does, Missis."
" And that 's what I will do, — I can't live no other ways,
— drink and forget my misery."
" You are very wicked and very foolish," said Miss
Ophelia, " to steal your master's money to make yourself a
"It's mighty likely, Missis; but I will do it, — yes, I
will. Lord ! I wish I 's dead, I do, — I wish I 's dead, and
out of my misery !" and slowly and stiffly the old creature
808 uncle tqm's cabik : ok.
rose, and got her basket on her head again ; but before she
went out, she looked at the quadroon girl, who still stood play-
ing with her ear-clrops.
"Ye think ye 're mighty fine with them ar, a frohckin'
and a tossin' your head, and a lookin' down on everybody.
Well, never mind, — you may live to be a poor, old, cut-up
crittur, like me. Hope to the Lord ye will, I do ; then see if
ye won't drink, — drink, — drink, — yerself into torment : and
sarve ye right, too — ugh!" and, with a malignant howl, the
woman left the room.
" Disgusting old beast!" said Adolph, who was getting his
master's shaving- water. " If I was her master, I'd cut her
up worse than she is."
" Ye could n't do that ar, no ways," said Dinah. " Her
back 's a far sight now, — she can't never get a dress together
" I think such low creatures ought not to be allowed to go
round to genteel families," said Miss Jane. " What do you
think. Mr. St. Clare ? " she said, coquettishly tossing her
head at Adolph.
It must be observed that, among other appropriations from
his master's stock, Adolph was in the habit of adopting his
name and address; and that the style under which he moved,
among the colored circles of New Orleans, was that of Mr.
"I'm certainly of your opinion, Miss Benoir," said
Benoir was the name of Marie St. Clare's family, and
Jane was one of her servants.
" Pray, Miss Benoir, may I be allowed to ask if those
drops are for the ball, to-morrow night 1 They are certainly
bewitching ! '
LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 809
" I wonder, now, Mr. St. Clare, what the impudence of
you men will come to! " said Jane, tossing her pretty head till
the ear-drops twinkled again. " I shan't dance with you
for a whole evening, if you go to asking me any more ques-
" 0, you could n't be so cruel, now! I was just dying to
know whether you would appear in your pink tarletane,"
" What is it?" said Rosa, a bright, piquant little quad
roon, who came skipping down stairs at this moment.
" W%, Mr. St. Clare 's so impudent ! "
" On my honor," said Adolph, " I '11 leave it to Miss
" I know he 's always a saucy creature," said Rosa, pois-
ing herself on one of her little feet, and looking maliciously
at Adolph. ■" He 's always getting me so angry with him."
" ! ladies, ladies, you will certainly break my heart,
between you," said Adolph. " I shall be found dead in my
bed, some morning, and you '11 have it to answer for."
" Do hear the horrid creature talk!" said both ladies,
" Come, — clar out, you ! I can't have you cluttering up
the kitchen," said Dinah ; "in my way, foolin' round here."
" Aunt Dinah's glum, because she can't go to the ball,"
15 Don't want none o' your light-colored balls," said
Dinah ; " cuttin' round, makin' b'lieve you 's white folks.
Arter all, you 's niggers, much as I am."
" Aunt Dinah greases her wool stifF, every day, to make it
lie straight," said Jane.
" And it will be wool, after all," said Rosa, maliciously
shaking down her long, silky curls.
810 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR,
" Well, in the Lord's sight, an't wool as good as har, any
time? " said Dinah. "I'd like to have Missis say which is
worth the most, — a couple such as you, or one like me.
Get out wid ye, ye trumpery, — I won't have ye round ! "
Here the conversation was interrupted in a two-fold man-
ner. St. Clare's voice was heard at the head of the stairs,
asking Adolph if he meant to stay all night with his shaving-
water ; and Miss Ophelia, coming out of the dining-room,
" Jane and Rosa, what are you wasting your time for, here ?
Go in and attend to your muslins." ^
Our friend Tom, who had been in the kitchen during the
conversation with the old rusk- woman, had followed her out
into the street. He saw her go on, giving every once in a
while a suppressed groan. At last she set her basket down
on a door-step, and began arranging the old, faded shawl
which covered her shoulders.
"I'll carry your basket a piece," said Tom, compas-
" Why should ye? " said the woman. " I don't want no
" You seem to be sick, or in trouble, or something" said
"I an't sick," said the woman, shortly.
" I wish," said Tom, looking at her earnestly, — " I wish I
could persuade you to leave off drinking. Don't you know
it will be the ruin of ye, body and soul? "
"I knows I'm gwine to torment," said the woman, sul-
lenly. a Ye don't need to tell me that ar. I 's ugly, —
I 's wicked, — I 's gwine straight to torment. 0, Lord ! I
wish I 's thar ! "
LOTS AMONG THE LOWLY. 811
Tom shuddered at these frightful words, spoken with a
sullen, impassioned earnestness.
" 0, Lord have mercy on ye ! poor crittur. Han't ye
never heard of Jesus Christ?"
" Jesus Christ, — who 'she?"
" Why, he 's the Lord," said Tom.
■" I think I 've hearn tell o' the Lord, and the judgment
and torment. I 've heard o' that."
" But didn't anybody ever tell you of the Lord Jesus,
that loved us poor sinners, and died for us? "
" Don't know nothin' 'bout that," said the woman ; " no-
body han't never loved me, since my old man died."
" Where was you raised ? " said Tom.
" Up in Kentuck. A man kept me to breed cmTen for
market, and sold 'em as fast as they got big enough ; last of
all, he sold me to a speculator, and my Mas'r got me o'
" What set you into this bad way of drinkin' ? "
" To get shet o' my misery. I had one child after I come
here; and I thought then I 'd have one to raise, cause Mas'r
wasn't a speculator. It was de peartest little thing ! and
Missis she seemed to think a heap on 't, at first ; it never
cried, — it was likely and fat. But Missis tuck sick, and I
tended her ; and I tuck the fever, and my milk all left me,
and the child it pined to skin and bone, and Missis would n't
buy milk for it. She wouldn't hear to me, when I telled
her I had n't milk. She said she knowed I could feed it
on what other folks eat ; and the child kinder pined, and
cried, and cried, and cried, day and night, and got all gone to
skin and bones, and Missis got sot agin it, and she said
't wan't nothin' but crossness. She wished it was. dead, she
said ; and she would »'t let me have it o' nights, cause, she
312 UNCLE tom's cabin : OR,
said, it kept me awake, and made me good for nothing. She
made me sleep in her room ; and I had to put it away off in a
little kind o' garret, and thar it cried itself to death, one
night. It did ; and I tuck to drinkin', to keep its crying out
of my ears ! I did, — and I will drink ! I will, if I do go to
torment for it ! Mas'r says I shall go to torment, and I tell
him I 've got thar now ! "
" 0, ye poor crittur ! " said Tom, " han't nobody never
telled ye how the Lord Jesus loved ye, and died for ye ?
Han't they telled ye that he '11 help ye, and ye can go to
heaven, and have rest, at last ? "
" I looks like gwine to heaven," said the woman ; c: an't
thar where white folks is gwine] S'pose they'd have me
thar ? I 'd rather go to torment, and get away from Mas'r
and Missis. I had so" she said, as, with her usual groan,
she got her basket on her head, and walked sullenly away.
Tom turned, and walked sorrowfully back to the house.
In the court he met little Eva, — a crown of tuberoses on
her head, and her eyes radiant with delight.
"0, Tom! here you are. I'm glad I've found you.
Papa says you may get out the ponies, and take me in my
little new carriage," she said, catching his hand. " But
what 's the matter, Tom 1 — you look sober."
" I feel bad, Miss Eva," said Tom, sorrowfully. " But
I '11 get the horses for you."
" But do tell me, Tom, what is the matter. I saw you
talking to cross old Prue."
Tom, in simple, earnest phrase, told Eva the woman's
history. She did not exclaim, or wonder, or weep, as other
children do. Her cheeks grew pale, and a deep, earnest
shadow passed over her eyes. She laid both hands on her
bosom, and sighed heavily. •